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Video game adaptations have had a difficult time on the big screen. When the highlight of the genre is the Resident Evil franchise you don’t exactly have a lot to hang your hat on. That hasn’t stopped numerous game studios from licensing their properties to try and become that first breakout hit. Now Sega has announced that their most famous creation will be getting his own feature film. Sonic the Hedgehog is coming to the big screen.
1991 alongside their Genesis game console Sega introduced Sonic the Hedgehog as their fast talking, and even faster moving, mascot to compete with Mario and Nintendo. While initially a hit with gamers, the character has had trouble finding his footing since games transitioned to the third dimension. Games have continued to be developed, though many have fallen flat in recent years as Sega implemented numerous new mechanics that players don't want. Regardless, 2016 is Sonic’s 25th Anniversary, and Gamespot is reporting that part of the celebration will include beginning development on a combination animation/live action feature film in conjunction with Sony Pictures. The movie is being planned for a 2018 release.
The last time that a major video game mascot got his own movie it did not go well. The Super Mario Bros. movie is generally regarded as one of the lowest points in game to movie adaptation. That doesn’t mean that Sonic is automatically going to be subjected to the same fate, but the odds are stacked against them.
The major thing that’s slightly concerning about this plan is the idea that the film will combine both live action and animation. Hopefully, when they say "live action," they mean some sort of motion capture type technology, like something out of Avatar, and not that Sonic will be interacting with actual people. Ignoring entirely the dive into the uncanny valley that such a thing would entail, they tried that in 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog game where the hedgehog has a relationship with a human woman. The results were...awkward.
While Sonic has had a difficult time of late the character still remains ridiculously popular among a core group of fans, so there are many who will be thrilled to know that the blue bomber will be coming to the big screen one day. We’ll remain cautiously optimistic. Unless it turns out there are werehogs involved. If that happens we’re out.