Hollywood director Jeff Fowler has promised “changes” are “going to happen” after the internet reacted with horror to the CGI redesign of Sonic the Hedgehog.
“Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… you aren’t happy with the design & you want changes,” Fowler tweeted on Thursday. “It’s going to happen,” he said, reassuring fans. “Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be…”
Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… you aren't happy with the design & you want changes. It's going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be… #sonicmovie #gottafixfast 🔧✌️
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 2, 2019
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer debut was met with an online tidal wave of resistance. Many thought that the eponymous speedster dove headfirst into the proverbial “Uncanny Valley,” where a character’s design can easily become ghoulish and repulsive to the viewer.
While it is impossible to know how this design made it from concept to a trailer just months away from the movie’s theatrical release, it seems that both Fowler and his corporate overlords are taking the criticism to heart.
Several fans have already tried their hand at amateur alternatives, each of which has garnered more positive response than the multi-million dollar studio efforts. The most popular of these — a quick mock-up by Twitter user @EdwardPun1 — does not even change the studio’s take on the character, merely re-proportions him to seem less… well, terrifying.
— Edward Pun (@EdwardPun1) April 30, 2019
There have been no announcements regarding any change in release schedule thus far, but Detective Pikachu director Rob Letterman thinks such a task may, at this point in production, be “impossible.”
“I don’t know, I feel for those guys,” he said. “I don’t approach visual effects that way. I try to make Pikachu as if we were building a creature on set that we would use to film. We worked really hard to get all our Pokémon done so they would be represented on set. So it all fit and performances were right.”
“I mean eye-lines, right,” Letterman added. “I wouldn’t even know… If I changed Pikachu by two inches, performances would be out the window.”
Viewers will make a final judgment when — or if — Sonic the Hedgehog releases on November 30.