Sega's speedy blue video game mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, is going to star in his own movie. The film, produced in collaboration between Sony, 22 Jump Street Producer Neal Moritz, and Japanese company Marza Animation Planet, will combine live action and computer animation to tell Sonic's story.
The movie will technically be Sonic's second — the first was cobbled together from two Japanese anime episodes and released straight-to-video in the US in 1999. The mascot's popularity peaked in that decade, when as the star of much-loved games on Sega's Master System and Genesis consoles, he competed against Mario for cultural penetration. As Japanese company Sega pulled away from the hardware market after the release of its Dreamcast, Sonic's star started to wane, and he began to appear in poorer games.
Longtime antagonist Dr. Eggman is set to appear in the film
Quite how the movie's producers will turn 20 years of Sonic into a film is yet to be revealed. The Hollywood Reporter says we'll see the return of Sonic's long-time antagonist Dr. Eggman (née Robotnik), but the world's fastest hedgehog has a muddled back-story and a small army of anthropomorphic animal friends that makes it difficult to imagine how scriptwriters Evan Susser and Van Robichaux will be able to trim down material to make a coherent plot. In more than 20 years of existence, Sonic has fought evil genies, joined the military, displayed an ability to turn into a "werehog," traveled through time, and gained a gun-toting, genetically modified alter-ego called Shadow.