Prepare yourself: Sony Pictures has a live-action hybrid “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie in the pipeline, and it’ll be hitting theaters in 2018. The news was disclosed recently by Sega Sammy Holdings President and CEO Hajime Satomi in an interview, but this isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors about such plans. Back in 2014, for example, a report surfaced claiming that Sony Pictures was working with Neil Moritz to make a theatrical adaption of the franchise.
Satomi discussed the movie briefly as part of a much larger interview with The Worldfolio recently, saying:
Sega Sammy Group is currently planning with Sony Pictures to create a live-action and animation hybrid “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie scheduled for release in 2018. Like with this CG animation production, we would like to expand our business into other entertainment areas beyond what we are currently involved.
Sonic the Hedgehog, of course, is the blue hedgehog from SEGA’s 90s era gaming portfolio, and its popularity was great enough to spur the creation of a television series. That animated show didn’t last long, though, running only from September 1993 to December 1994. An animated Sonic the Hedgehog was also made during the 90s, but it has largely been relegated to the realm of dedicated fandom.
While Sonic isn’t as famous as he used to be and SEGA is certainly not the same as it was in the 90s, the game character has lived on in modest titles since then, including ones made for mobile devices.
How Sonic will fare with a new generation as a CG character in the real world is anyone’s guess, though. The notion of a hybrid CG-and-live-action movie sounds unappealing at first guess, but it worked well enough for the newest Spongebob movie, was used in, for example, the Chipmunks movies (not that they’re glaring examples of well made flicks). Sony Pictures has previously made its own hybrid live action movies with the Smurfs.
No other details have been provided about the movie at this time, including when exactly in 2018 it will arrive. Assuming 2014’s report was correct, though, the film will be (has been?) written by Van Robichaux and Evan Susser, and will include franchise baddie Dr. Eggman.
Sony will reportedly work with Japan’s Marza Animation Planet production company. In 2014, Marza’s CEO Masanao Maeda had said:
Sonic has had dozens of adventures on the console and the small screen, and we’re thrilled that he’s now coming to the big screen. Sony Pictures has had great success with hybrid animated and live-action features, and we’re confident that this collaboration will bring a fresh take to Sonic while still capturing everything that the fans love about him.