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When the first teaser poster for the movie was released showing Sonic's design for the movie, the character's original designer Naoto Ohshima and the former head of Sonic Team, Yuji Naka, both expressed a high distaste for Sonic's appearance in the movie. Following a massive fan backlash after the release of the first trailer, director James Fowler announced on Twitter on May 2, 2019 that Sonic's design was going to be altered to make "this character the best he can be". This caused the movie's scheduled release of the Thanksgiving 2019 weekend to be pushed to Valentine's Day 2020. When a new trailer and poster were released on November 12, 2019 revealing Sonic's redesign, fans and viewers alike praised the character's new game-accurate look.
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The villain was known as Dr. Robotnik outside Japan prior to Sonic Adventure (1998). Sonic the Hedgehog called him "Eggman" as more of an insult before the villain became known as Dr. Eggman.
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Tom Holland, Josh Gad, Chris Pratt, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Will Forte, Jim Parsons, Charlie Day, Paul Rudd, and Adam Devine were all considered for the voice of Sonic.
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The movie will be action-focused. There were several script rewrites, due to the original movie having a more comedy focus.
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One of the co-writers for the film, Van Robichaux, wants to go for a PG-13 rating.
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According to Van Robichaux, a scene of Eggman owning a coffee machine labeled "Mean Bean Machine" was cut before filming commenced.
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Sonic in this film has new shoes, and a furrier appearance, as well as an athlete body that suits a runner. According to producer Tim Miller, "fur is an essential part of integrating Sonic into the real world as a real creature."
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Tim Miller, the director for Deadpool (2016), is serving as executive producer alongside Neal H, Mortiz, the producer for The Fast and the Furious (2001) film series. Jeff Fowler, who has experience in animated productions, is serving as director.
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The production crew used Ted (2012) as an influence on making a live-action Sonic the Hedgehog, and studied different variations of the character to develop the character's final design.
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By making this movie, Paramount and Sega bring their original relationship full-circle. From 1969 to 1983, both companies were units of Charlie Bluhdorn's Gulf+Western Industries conglomerate. G+W divested Sega during 1983-84, and after overall refocusing itself as an entertainment company, changed its name to Paramount Communications in 1989, merging with Viacom five years later. Fittingly, Paramount bought Sega under their Gulf+Western banner.
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The film was originally set to be filmed in Atlanta, but has since been changed to Vancouver.
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As announced on October 2, 2017, Sony relinquished its rights to the film and its production staff to Paramount Pictures.
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Marza Animation Planet, Sega's in-house animation studio, was originally set to be animating the film. However, it was later revealed that Tim Miller's animation studio, Blur would be animating. Both studios have a history with Sonic The Hedgehog, being responsible for animating several cutscenes for the video game series since 2008. Whether or not Marza is still involved is currently unknown.
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When the film was at Sony, screenwriters Brad Bird, Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese (Zombieland and Deadpool), David Berenbaum (Elf), and Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia) each submitted their own drafts of the film in bids to write the screenplay.
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The film does not use the current cast from the Sonic games that've been used since 2010 at Studiopolis, instead like many other films going for celebrity talents.
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Jim Carrey covered the Beatles song "I Am The Walrus" for George Martin's 1998 album "In My Life," which features a multitude of celebrities covering various Beatles songs. The song contains the lyric, "I am the eggman." Coincidentally, Carrey plays the role of Dr. Robotnik (Eggman) in the Sonic film.
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On May 29 2018, it was reported that Paul Rudd is in talks for a lead role as Tom, "a cop who befriends Sonic and will likely team up to defeat Dr. Eggman." Paramount later clarified that this was not the case, but that Rudd had been considered for the role at one point.
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It is currently unknown if Sonic's friends such as Amy Rose, Cream and Cheese, Knuckles, and Tails will appear in this movie.
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The film's tagline "Every hero has a genesis" is a reference to the Sega's video game system, the Sega Genesis which released Sonic's first video game in 1991.
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Ben Schwartz (voice of Sonic in this film) and Jason Griffith (voice of Sonic in the games from 2005-2010 as well as the English Dub of the Anime Sonic X (2003)) both voiced versions of Leonardo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clan, another character associated with the colour blue. Schwartz voiced him in the Nickelodeon series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2018), and Griffith voiced his Mirage Comics counterpart in the 4Kids TV film Turtles Forever (2009).
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This is the 2nd Sonic the Hedgehog Project created outside Japan where Sonic is not voiced by his original voice actor from the 1990s Cartoons Jaleel White, after the Cartoon Network series Sonic Boom (2014).
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Junkie XL (the same composer of Deadpool (2016) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)) is the candidate to handle the movie's soundtrack.
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Chris Evans, Jake Johnson, Michael B. Jordan, Bill Hader, Jason Segal, Justin Timberlake, Adam Pally, Ansel Elgort and Milo Ventimiglia were all considered for the role of Tom.
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Ben Schwartz' 3rd time voice acting in a theatrical film, after Turbo (2013) and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019).
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James Marsden's 3rd live action/animation hybrid film, after Enchanted (2007) and Hop (2011), both of which also had him part of the live action cast (though for the former he was both in the live action cast and the voice over cast, based on which scene his character's in).
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James Marsden and Jim Carrey both starred in at least three comic book movies. Marsden was Cyclops in the first X-Men trilogy and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and Carrey was in The Mask (1994), Batman Forever (1995), and Kick-Ass 2 (2013).
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First time Dr. Eggman is played by someone other than Mike Pollock in English since Sonic Advance 3 (2004).
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Jim Carrey's third CGI feature after Horton Hears a Who! (2008) & A Christmas Carol (2009), though Carrey is not actually part of the voice acting cast for this film.
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Sonic is the 5th character voiced by Ben Schwartz to be associated with the color blue. The other 4 had been Skidmark in the DreamWorks Animation film Turbo (2013), Steve the Troll in the Nick Junior series Wallykazam! (2014), Dewey Duck in the Disney XD series DuckTales (2017), and Leonardo in the Nickelodeon series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2018).
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First collab with James Marsden and Jim Carrey. Coincidentally both actors worked with Cameron Diaz. Marsden in The Box and Carrey in The Mask.
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Sonic will increase his speed as the film goes on. According to producer Tim Miller, "the speed changes over time because he evolves, because he can't do everything at the beginning of the movie. He takes some time to figure out the speed: what the effect looks like and what it does to the rest of the world around it."
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