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There was a point where it looked like the Sonic the Hedgehog movie was doomed to be a disaster. Today, it’s primed to beat all expectations at the box office. It’s a heck of a journey for the video game adaptation. And if you ask the film’s star, Jim Carrey, the fan-driven need to redesign the CGI for the iconic hedgehog ended up being a blessing in disguise, because it made the film much better.
In April 2019, fans got a first look at the highly anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog trailer -- and to put it mildly, they weren’t thrilled. Complaints poured in about the design of the eponymous hedgehog, because he was a far cry from the adorable-yet-fierce Sonic we know and love from Sega’s video game franchise. The film’s crew responded, somewhat surprisingly, by going back to the drawing board.
It was probably a stressful experience for the cast and crew, who’d already put a ton of effort into the movie. But Jim Carrey, who plays the villain Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog, has revealed that the whole team was on board: (via Fox News):
It turned out to be a co-op where everybody was in on the creation. I think everybody felt good about it ultimately because [director] Jeff Fowler [had] no ego involved at all. He just went, 'These people grew up with it, and it's important to them that we get it right.' And I think it was just a much better movie because of it.
Jim Carrey makes it sound like Jeff Fowler had the right frame of mind, and it’s nice to hear that he checked his ego for the sake of making a better movie. The director has made it pretty clear that he was nervous about how the changes would go over. And rightfully so -- bowing to fan pressure was still a both a financial and a creative gamble. After all, they could have done all of the rework and fans could have decided they still wouldn’t support the movie.
Luckily, it doesn’t look like that was the case. It seems like everyone involved -- including one of the video game’s creators -- was pleased with the results of the redesign. The critical reception to Sonic the Hedgehog has been pretty positive. But more importantly, it seems that the fans showed up to support the film in its opening weekend. After initial projections placed the film at around a $40 million opening, it now appears to be heading toward the $54 million to $64 million four-day holiday range. If that holds, it would give Sonic the highest debut ever for a video game movie. Talk about a comeback.
Have you seen the Sonic the Hedgehog movie? What did you think?