The Sonic movie series from Paramount Pictures is, today, one of the most successful adaptations of the video game to the big screen, but we must not forget all the controversy that arose regarding this production long before its premiere in movie theaters around the world. Although there is already two movies and a third on the way with confirmed date, the original hedgehog design got such rejection that forced those responsible to change it for one more akin to SEGA games.
Given the controversy and the level of debate that this first strange Sonic generated, many understood this move by Paramount as a marketing strategy to promote the film at first and, later, scoring the point with a redesign that fans liked much more. About this they have asked the producer, Tim Millerin an episode of Crew Runner.
“It was the most horrible and fortunate thing that could happen to us” – Tim Miller
“Nope, it was not a marketing strategyMiller snaps back. “But in hindsight, Jeff (Jeff Fowler, director) and I have talked about it and we feel it was the most horrible thing and at the same time lucky what could happen to us I think the fans felt that their requests had been heard and even that they had some responsibility for the success of the film, which I think is completely true,” he explains.
A mistake turned into success
As Miller himself points out, Sonic’s original design for the Paramount movie may not have been a marketing ploy, but for practical purposes it worked as such, as initial negative reactions turned positive and the film became known to a wider audience. The expectation for the redesign benefited the promotion, and the complaints that there could be about the final design would be diluted by the fact that it has replaced one that fell into the category of “uncanny valley” for a good part of the audience.
The Sonic movie has surely encouraged more studios to carry out similar productions. In fact, Nintendo is preparing the premiere of the super mario bros movie for spring 2023, although in this case it is an animated film whose first official trailer has worked without the need for redesigns, with slight criticism for Chris Pratt’s dubbing of the plumber but with generally good reception.
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Was the criticized original design of the Sonic movie a marketing strategy? The Producer Responds – Sonic: The Movie 2 – 3dgames