Twenty-nine years ago, the Sonic team created Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis console and now on February 14 fans of the highly esteemed video game will see their favorite hedgehog superhero on the big screen.
As you might recall, the little, blue hedgehog full of super energy and courage takes on battles and enemies bigger than him with positivity, lighting speed and super strength and almost thirty years later, we can expect the same. Sonic [Ben Schwarz] makes his way to Earth after several enemies tried to steal his power. While trying to navigate through the new nuances of life on Earth, Sonic quickly makes a human best friend, Tom Wachowski [James Marsden]. Just when it seems like Sonic has found some peace, the evil Dr. Robotnik [Jim Carrey] traces his destination and now it’s up to Sonic and Tom to prevent Dr. Robotnik from capturing Sonic and using his powers to dominate the world.
Ben Schwartz who plays the role of Sonic was originally only asked to come in for a test to see if the film could be sold to studios. Luckily, they loved his performance so much that they asked him to see the project through. “When I found out that I was going to be the voice, it was a huge deal because I played that game for so long and loved it so much and I love animation and all that stuff so for me it was a huge deal, I was very excited,” Schwartz explains. Unlike like his co-star, Jim Carrey who plays the villainous Dr. Robotnik admits that he didn’t play the game ever but is definitely getting into it now as he jokingly states, “I can lose the game on purpose, and still win…I’m Robotnik!” Dr. Robotnik can try all he wants to take Sonic’s power, but Sonic’s spunky personality and witty attitude alone might be a tough barrier to get through. “I think every teenager in the world kind of saw themselves in Sonic and I think that remains true to today and that’s why it was such an amazing opportunity to translate Sonic for a movie and we could not be happier with where it landed,” remarks director, Jeff Fowler.
The iconic Jim Carrey is no stranger to transforming for roles. His popularity grew with roles such as the Mask, the Grinch, Ace Ventura and numerous others and now he’s back playing the bad guy. “I think that this character is the absolute manifestation of pure ego with absolute abandonment and it’s so much fun to play,” say Carrey. However, this nostalgic movie came with some pretty harsh criticism early on from fans disappointed in Sonic’s original design. “Message received,” states Fowler. “You got to respect the fans. I mean they are the reason we got the opportunity to make this movie. They’ve loved Sonic for almost thirty years, you got to listen to that. We were so excited for the story we have to tell, we had so much fun making the movie so we just really wanted the audience and the core fans to be on board in a big way and if that meant going back to the drawing board a little bit with Sonic, then we were happy to do it and could not be more happy with where we landed,” explains Fowler.
Be sure to check out Sonic the Hedgehog in theaters on February 14.