Sonic The Hedgehog came upon serious problems when it was delayed last April after a massive internet backlash due to the depiction of the Sonic character.
Over the last few years, social media reception has actually proved to be the death of many movies before they’ve even come out, and Sonic was just another example of this, a report from Los Angeles Times recently suggested.
Reportedly, fans weren’t happy with the way the Sonic character was created, including his teeth which people online described as “nightmare fuel,” due to the combination of the real and animated influence of how his teeth were portrayed.
Jeff Fowler, the first-time feature director, recently claimed to the Los Angeles Times that the social media backlash against the character actually hurt quite a bit. The director stated that he was feeling pretty sorry for himself when the fans first came for the image of Sonic online.
But rather than mope around in self-pity, he and the rest of the team decided to bring the character’s image much closer to the original portrayal that first kicked off in the early 1990s. As most know, the film industry in recent years has continued to rely on pre-existing brands and series.
For that reason, fan nostalgia isn’t always easy to please. For instance, Universal Pictures’ new film, Cats, based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, was panned during the release of its first trailer, and it never really recovered from the initial backlash.
But on the other side of the coin, Walt Disney Studios refused to give in to the hatred of Will Smith’s portrayal of The Genie, which some fans considered as weird-looking and bizarre. Aladdin then went on to gross more than $1 billion at the box office.
According to Fowler, the first design of the Sonic character sparked backlash because they chose to use “too much realism.” Rather than do it that way, they then chose to bring in more of a cartoon-like quality to the character which also brought it much closer to the original character’s image.