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The Sonic the Hedgehog movie was supposed to open several months ago, rather than this coming weekend. However, a backlash against the original design of the title character, seen in the original trailer, forced the movie to be delayed while Sonic was given an almost entirely new look. Sonic mark two was much more warmly received by fans, though director Jeff Fowler admits he was more than a little worried that the new Sonic would get the same treatment as the old Sonic.
The original Sonic the Hedgehog design of the CGI character looked a little like what would happen if the recent Cats movie had starred a bipedal hedgehog, and fans were about as equally into it. This led to the somewhat unprecedented decision to hold off on releasing the film to make the changes that fans were demanding. While Jeff Fowler mostly felt confident that fans would like the new look, he recently admitted to Digital Spy that there was a part of him that was quite worried about what would happen when the new version was released.
I think it had been about five months that had passed since the first trailer. We had worked very hard on our updates to the character. It was definitely a little bit of like, 'Oh man, what happens if they don't like this?' But really, everyone that saw it internally as I was working on the film, just responded so positively. It really felt like, once we shared it with the fans, they would really embrace it and be excited about it. Fortunately, any anxiety I had the night before passed really quickly once it was released. Because, yeah, it was such an incredible feeling to see Sonic 2.0 get embraced the way it was.
No matter how confident Jeff Fowler was, a little apprehension in this case is understandable. Fans were not shy about letting their displeasure be known the first time around, and if the second design hadn't been embraced you can bet the backlash would have been even stronger. And possibly worse, it's not like there would be another chance. The time and money that the first delay cost was likely enough that there was no way there would be another, meaning the movie would get released with a design that fans already didn't like.
Luckily, it all worked out, and you can be sure everybody involved in the new movie breathed a sigh of relief when the new look was unveiled and Sonic fans got on board.
Honestly, it still remains to be seen if the delay is going to end up being worth it. The movie is going to have to do just that much better at the box office to be able to pay for itself after the delay, and it's unclear if the new look will bring that many more people to the theater than would have shown up the first time around. We'll find out this weekend.