The upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog film has been delayed, and by quite a bit too. The film is now slated for release on February 14, 2020 instead of it’s original launch window of this November.
Jeff Fowler, the movie’s director, Tweeted a new teaser image revealing the new launch date for the controversial CGI project. Of course, one would not normally consider a Sonic the Hedgehog flick to be controversial. But the reaction of fans and the press to the proposed initial design of the character on the silver screen provoked lots of backlash, so this is the result.
The film was originally set to debut in theaters in November 2019, but these last couple of months have created a firestorm of memes and negativity around the project, after fans thoroughly hated the manner in which the iconic character was represented. The Sonic the Hedgehog seen in the trailer and teaser images was seen as way too anthropomorphized and not at all like the source material.
This prompted Paramount Pictures, who runs the production alongside several other studios like Blur Studio and Marza Animation Planet, to decide on a full rework of the character. And since this is a CG-led production, that effectively means every scene in the film needs to undergo work of some form. A frame-by-frame re-imagining of a character isn’t easy, and with this backlash there’s another problem. Paramount has probably revised their expectations for the eventual launch of the film, and expects a loss. The delay we’re now seeing is likely a consequence of the studios retasking effort to other projects, slowing down the pace of development on Sonic the Hedgehog.
The promised redesign of the character could take months to complete, so shots involving live actors and dialogue have a bit of extra time to get things right, although not much. As post-production work needs to come together to actually complete the film, there’s going to be a serious time crunch to get the final film completed. I personally don’t think this whole thing is good news for the profit prospects of the project, but that’s just me.