With both films proving to be successes, SEGA senior executive officer Toru Nakahama explains why the Sonic the hedgehog movies got the green light from the publisher. Based on the platform game of the same name, the movies are centered around the protagonist as he makes his way to Earth and must use his super-fast and electrical skills to stop the evil Doctor Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik in his quest to take over the world. . Ben Schwartz has led the cast of both Sonic the hedgehog movies as the beloved speedster alongside Jim Carrey as Eggman, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Lee Madjoub, Natasha Rothwell and Adam Pally.
Launch with the 2020 film of the same name, the Sonic the hedgehog franchise has received generally favorable reviews for its two films, with critics praising the visual effects, light-hearted tone, action sequences and performances of the cast, namely Schwartz and Carrey. As both films also prove to be box-office successes, Paramount Pictures has plans to expand the franchise in a number of directions, including a planned Sonic the hedgehog 3 in December 2024 and a spin-off Knuckles the Echidna series for the newer character of Idris Elba. While the audience looks forward to more from Sonic the hedgehog on their big and small screens, an executive shares how the film came about in the first place.
In a recent interview with piatranslated by Nintendo AllSEGA senior executive Toru Nakahama looked back at the Sonic the hedgehog legacy of the franchise. Watching the recently hit movies, the publisher’s director explained why SEGA gave the go-ahead to the Sonic the hedgehog movies, pointing to one key game to reinvigorate the brand with western audiences. See what Nakahama explained below:
We had talks about making a Sonic movie because of Sonic Mania in 2017. Despite not being too popular in America at first, Sonic seemed to be gaining popularity quickly. At the time, Sonic was in a strange situation where parents knew well who he is, while children may or may not know him. So it was easy to imagine that if a Sonic movie came out, it would be a great opportunity for Sonic to be known not only by many generations, but also areas where Sonic may never have been well known, especially seen the distant budget for film promotion. larger than that of a video game. I thought it was worth joining to invest in creating a ‘Hollywood blockbuster’. I can remember initially hearing comments like “So many game-based movies have flopped” and “Hasn’t he been caught somehow?” However, with the start of SEGA Sammy Holdings, the spirit of taking on new challenges fitted in well with film production. It reminded me of the SEGA spirit of ‘trying new things’.
How Sonic the Hedgehog broke the video game movie curse
As Nakahama points out, the Sonic the hedgehog game franchise was in a dubious spot just before the film’s development, with most games scoring mixed with negative reviews from critics and games until Sonic Mania, which became the highest-rated game for the series in 15 years. After selling over 1 million copies within a year of its release, many touted the title as a return form for the franchise, even if it wasn’t made directly by the Sonic team, but fans eager to see it reach the same heights would achieve it enjoyed in its early days. Given the game’s success, it’s understandable that SEGA would be confident in making a film adaptation of Sonic the hedgehognamely if other such game adaptations as Detective Pikachu saw critical and commercial success.
Unlike many of its predecessors, Sonic the hedgehog movies have proven to be the key to breaking the curse of video game movies, with not only good reviews but also Sonic the hedgehog 2 even better than its predecessor at the cash register and reception. Although the Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil franchises have received follow-up orders, the adaptations of SEGA’s long-running platformer appear to be the biggest yet in avoiding the video game curse of alienating audiences and suffering from diminishing returns. While the audience waits for details on the next episodes, they can catch up on the first two Sonic the hedgehog movies now streaming on Paramount+.