Sonic the Hedgehog film director promises to change reviled character design

People loath the new Sonic film trailer. When it comes to soulless and opportunistic game-to-film adaptations, it's hard to remember anything prompting quite this much outrage (although maybe that's because it's 2019 and everyone is really angry all the time). 

It's easy to understand the reception: the Sonic in the forthcoming film doesn't look much like the Sonic of old. In my opinion, for what it's worth, he does at least look a bit more like a hedgehog than before. But that doesn't make the new design any less... terrifying. 

The outcry hasn't been lost on the film's director Jeff Fowler, who has taken to Twitter and promised to change the design. This is not insignificant: while it'd be easier to retro-fit CG graphics rather than, say, Jim Carrey's Eggman character (who looks just fine), for a director to make such drastic changes after an expensive promotional trailer has been released, and after the film's titular "iconic" character has been revealed, is quite massive.

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"Thank you for the support. And the criticism," Fowler wrote. "The message is loud and clear... you aren't happy with the design and you want changes. It's going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be..."

It's hard to imagine there being any enduring artistic value in the Sonic film, but then, maybe there will be. Either way, it's weird to see a director so quickly cave to the demands of vocal internet fans. Stand your ground! Maybe the new Sonic design means something to you. Or maybe he looks like that for another valid reason. Maybe we're meant to hate film Sonic. Either way, it's changing. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.