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Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019 release date, teasers and trailers, latest casting news, plot, and every update you need to know

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog debuts on big screen in 2019. Pic credit: Sega

Fans were happy when Paramount confirmed an official release date for its upcoming live-action/computer animated film, Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019, back in February.

The upcoming film is the big screen adaptation of Sega’s popular Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. The iconic eponymous blue hedgehog character in Sega’s popular 2D video game world is set to make his debut in the 3D world of a live-action movie later in 2019, more than five years after Paramount first announced the film in June 2014.

Sonic has starred in several TV cartoon shows in the past, and made cameos in Wreck-It-Ralph 1 & 2, but this will be the first time that he appears in a live-action big screen production.

Fans of the video game character were pleased to learn that the movie will stay true to the classic Sonic video game narrative formula in which Sonic and his friends race to stop the evil Dr. “Eggman” Robotnik from taking over the world.

We bring fans the lowdown on the highly-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog movie, including release date, latest cast news, teasers and trailers, plot, and much more.

Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019 release date

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog and friends. Pic credit: Sega

Sonic the Hedgehog movie is set to hit theaters on November 8, 2019, in the U.S., and November 28 in Australia. U.K. fans will have to wait until December 26, 2019, to see Sonic at their local theaters.

Paramount announced in September that the initial November 15 release date was being moved up by a week to November 8, 2019. Paramount did not give a reason for the shift, but it came with other changes to the film studio’s release date schedule for 2019. For instance, Paramount moved Terminator 6 up a week from November 22 to November 15, 2019.

Paramount might have moved the Sonic the Hedgehog movie release date to November 8 to avoid a clash with Terminator 6 on November 15. Sonic the Hedgehog executive producer Tim Miller is serving as director on Terminator 6.

Terminator 6 was originally slated for a July release, which means that co-producers Skydance and Paramount were originally planning the movie as a summer blockbuster. They moved the film release to November following Arnold Schwarzenegger’s heart surgery but denied that the change had anything to do with the aging star’s health.

It is likely that Terminator 6 and Sonic the Hedgehog will have a significant audience overlap among older fans since both films follow-up on hit franchises from the 1990s.

Although Sonic the Hedgehog is often described as a children’s movie, it will likely attract a significant adult audience due to the nostalgia it will evoke among fans who grew up in the 1990s when Sega released the first game series.

The first game series featured the beloved character and his friends, running around the first game level Green Hill Zone to thwart evil Robotnik’s world domination plans.

Sonic the Hedgehog and Terminator franchises were big hits around the world in the 1990s and the 2000s. Sonic has sold more than 360 million physical and digital copies since the 1990s.

The potential audience overlap might have been a part of the decision to move Sonic the Hedgehog release date forward and away from the Terminator 6 release date.

Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019 details

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019 is based on a video games series by Sega. Pic credit: Sega

Sonic the Hedgehog movie coming in 2019 is based on a video game series that Sega first introduced in 1991 as a rival to Nintendo’s popular Super Mario game series.

The Sonic the Hedgehog video games featured the eponymous character racing around at supersonic speed, collecting gold rings, Chaos Emeralds, and overcoming several other obstacles to defeat Dr. Robotnik. He receives help from his friends, Tails, Amy and Knuckles.

Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019 follows the beloved anthropomorphic blue hedgehog and small-town sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) in a race to stop Dr. Robotnik.

Sony acquired the rights to the film from Sega in 2013 and announced plans to produce a live-action/CGI hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog film on June 10, 2014. Sony eventually sold the film rights to Paramount in October 2017 after running into unexpected financing problems.

Sony had originally set the movie for release in 2018, but Paramount moved it to 2019. Paramount at first scheduled the film for release on November 15, but later moved it to November 8.

Sonic fans had feared that the movie would not happen after news first emerged that Sony was having financing problems, but hopes were revived after Paramount Pictures took over. The decision to move the release date to a week earlier indicates that Paramount is ready to deliver on the promise initially made by Sony, and fans are happy.

The screenplay for Sonic the Hedgehog, based on the story by Van Robichaux and Evan Susser, is written by the team of Patrick Casey, Josh Miller and Oren Uziel. Sonic the Hedgehog movie is Jeff Fowler’s live-action/feature film directorial debut.

Fowler is best known for directing the animated short Gopher Broke (2004), which he wrote with Tim Miller (Blur Studio).

Sonic the Hedgehog is produced by Fast and Furious franchise producer Neal H. Moritz. Deadpool (2016) director Tim Miller is executive produced alongside Toby Ascher.

Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019 is being co-produced by Paramount Animation and Neal Moritz’s Original Film in collaboration with DJ2 Entertainment, Tim Miller’s Blur Studio, Japan-based video game developer Sega, and the Japanese animation studio Marza Animation Planet.

Sonic the Hedgehog movie is expected to bring the beloved video game character to life by combining live action with CG animation. The film is planned as the first entry in a series of film adaptations of the Sonic Hedgehog video game series.

Production of the movie kicked off on July 24 and ended on October 16, 2018. Shooting, under the working title of “Casino Night,” took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, and in Ladysmith, Vancouver Island.

In August, the producers issued a casting call to residents of Ladysmith, B.C., to cast as Green Hills townsfolk.

Post-production of Sonic the Hedgehog movie began in New York in October.

Although we already have a plot synopsis, the details are still under wraps.

Sonic Hedgehog teasers and trailers

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog, Knuckles and Tails. Pic credit: Sega

Fans got a first look at the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie character through a motion poster that Paramount released on Monday, December 10.

The motion poster, released in lieu of a proper trailer, weeks after the Detective Pikachu movie trailer, teases fans on what the beloved video game icon would look like in the live-action film.

The sneak peek proved to be divisive. It sparked an uproar among fans and generated heated reactions on social media, with fans posting hundreds of negative comments.

It turned out that the design team had decided to create a more realistic and athletic version of Sonic with running shoes and two separate eyes (the eyes merge into one in the video game and cartoon versions of Sonic).

Fans complained that the planned film version of Sonic was not as adorable as the blue hedgehog they were used to from the video games.

The live-action Sonic also had fur instead of the usual spiky, quill-like structures. According to Executive Producer Tim Miller, the designers decided to make Sonic furry to avoid having a character that appears to run around in the real world naked.

“It would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing,” Miller said. “It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature.”

But Miller admitted that Sega was not very happy about the design of Sonic’s eyes.

Fans criticized the design, insisting that the producers need not have insisted on creating a realistic talking blue hedgehog for the live-action film.

Many fans compared the perceived shortcomings of the live-action supersonic hedgehog to earlier objections to the Detective Pikachu trailer released only weeks before. The Detective Pikachu trailer had featured some realistic Pokémon, including Mr. Mime, whom many fans thought looked creepy.

It is not yet clear how the producers plan to represent Sonic when he is speeding in the live-action movie. But with post-production having commenced in October, it is expected that all special effects have been done.

According to IGN, director Jeff Fowler had known from the start how he wanted Sonic to the represented when speeding, and he had suggested it as part of his original pitch.

A couple of set images showing director Jeff Fowler and James Marsden also surfaced on social media in August, while the movie was being filmed in Vancouver.

A teaser also emerged online on August 2 that showed the live-action version of the Green Hill Zone from the first level of the original Sonic Hedgehog video game that Sega released in 1991.

Sonic Hedgehog cast

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog stars Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic. Pic credit: Sega

Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019 stars Ben Schwartz as the voice of the computer-animated Sonic the Hedgehog. Schwartz is known for having played Jean-Ralphio Saperstein in Parks and Recreation (TV series 2009-2015) and Dewey Duck on Disney’s DuckTales reboot. He voices Leonardo in the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TV Series 2018- ).

The legendary comedian Jim Carrey will voice the main villain, Sonic’s nemesis Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik.

Other members of the cast include Westworld star James Marsden as the human lead Tom Wachowski. Wachowski is the sheriff of Green Hills who joins the CGI Sonic on a mission to stop Dr. Robotnik.

Marsden is known for playing Jack Lime in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013), Criss in 30 Rock (TV Series 2006-2013), and Rex in Sex Drive (2008).

Other members of the cast include Ride Along star Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally and Neal McDonough.

On August 7, Sumpter took to Instagram to confirm that she had joined the cast of Sonic the Hedgehog. She shared a photo of herself with Natasha Rothwell, who is also playing an undisclosed role in the film.

Not much is known about Sumpter’s role in Sonic the Hedgehog, but she revealed in an October 2018 interview with Coveteur that “James Marsden and I play husband and wife, but I get in on the action with Sonic.”

Adam Pally (Gary the Cameraman from Iron Man 3) will play a funny cop alongside Marsden as Sheriff Tom Wachowski. Not much is know about McDonough’s role in the film. But fans will remember him as the actor who fought alongside Steve Rogers as Dum Dum Dugan in Captain: America: The First Avenger (2011).

Although it was previously thought that Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik will appear as a computer-animated character, Carrey delighted fans when he revealed at the 2018 Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour that his character will be part of the live action and not motion capture or CGI.

Despite previous expectations that Sonic the Hedgehog movie would feature Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik (nicknamed “Eggman” by Japanese fans) as a cartoon character — a portly mad scientist with an over-sized mustache who dresses in gaudy yellow and red costume — fans had hoped that Carrey would be allowed to showcase his special talents for slapstick comedy.

Sonic the Hedgehog races to stop Eggman from taking over the world in the upcoming live-action movie. Pic credit: Sega

However, a novel alternative is that  Carrey’s live-action version could swap places in different scenes with the CGI version of the infamous villain. Fans will no doubt be delighted to see Carrey do a live-action portrayal of Robotnik as he is known to play cartoonish roles with verve.

We know from set photos showing the Green Hill Zone that emerged online recently that the producers are aiming to be as faithful to the video games as possible.

Deadline reported in September that actor Lee Majdoub had joined the cast of Sonic the Hedgehog alongside Jim Carrey, James Marsden and Tika Sumpter. He will play Agent Stone, a Dr. Robotnik goon.

Yet other members of the cast include Frank C. Turner as Crazy Carl, Natasha Rothwell, Debs Howard, and Melody Nosipho Niemann.

Sonic is voiced in the video games and in the Sonic Boom TV series by Roger Craig Smith. Some fans were disappointed when the producers of Sonic the Hedgehog movie did not cast Smith as the voice of Sonic. But while Smith must have been disappointed, he and Mike Pollock, who voices Eggman in the video games and TV series, have been putting on a brave face on social media.

But it is likely that Craig will continue voicing Sonic in the video games and the TV series.

And while Smith and Pollock consoled themselves on social media, Schwartz celebrated joyfully after news broke that he’d been cast as Sonic the Hedgehog. He took to Twitter in August to share his joy with Twitter fans and followers.

Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019 plot

Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik will be featured in Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Pic credit: Sega

Not much is known about the plot of Sonic the Hedgehog movie 2019, but according to the plot summary released by Paramount, Sonic the Hedgehog movie will follow the adventures of Sonic who meets Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), the sheriff of small-town Green Hills, South Dakota, after he “finds himself in our present-day world.”

Wachowski helps Sonic evade arrest, and together, they go on a road trip that ends up in San Francisco. In San Francisco, Wachowski helps Sonic to recover the rings he needs to fight and defeat the evil Dr. Robotnik.

While speaking during a Q&A session at the 10th annual PGA Produced By conference in June, Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos revealed further plot details. He described Sonic as a “quasi-juvenile delinquent hedgehog” who goes on an adventure with a local police officer. The two go on a road trip and race against the evil “Eggman” Robotnik to recover “Sonic’s Rings,” which some have interpreted as a metaphor for the juvenile delinquent’s “manhood.”

According to Gianopulos, the film is about “a juvenile delinquent on the adventures in a pretty straight rural environment with a local policeman.”

“What we’re trying to do with Sonic is make a movie about a small-town police officer and Sonic at a time when they are both desperately in need of a friend, and we hope that this theme is friendship is what gives the film its heart and makes it prosper,” Mortiz told The Wrap.

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