If you are even mildly present in the online video-gaming sphere, you’ll have no doubt caught sight of those alleged leaked Sonic the Hedgehog CGI movie assets, which recently surfaced online following a now-removed post by Hamagami / Carroll, Inc..
Showing a disturbingly anthropomorphised (yes, even more so than the traditional designs) Blue Blur, this new version of Sonic is notably missing his white gloves, united eyeballs and oversized red shoes, instead overcompensating in hair-like quills, creepy smiles and power stances.
Although it is not yet confirmed whether these promotional images are genuine, if they are, they likely show a reasonable if not exact likeness to Sonic’s final design. One image shows Sonic dashing through a large ring, another has him pointing at the viewer, and a final large image shows him holding a ring.
Many hardcore fans of the Sonic brand have already taken to social media to express their distaste
Other, smaller images show the potential direction for retail products and tie-in toys for the film, with the semi-obscured contents page outlining the marketing and branding strategies for the film prior to release. The outlined brand personality for the character, according to one of the leaked presentation slides, is that he should be “Irreverent and sarcastic, heroic and adventurous, confident and competitive, chill and likable [and] mischievous but not malicious” – an ambitious feat, to say the least.
Many hardcore fans of the Sonic brand have already taken to social media to express their distaste, whilst others have praised it as an innovative, forward-thinking move to attract a new generation. Comparisons have also been drawn between this apparent attempt at hyper-realism and that of the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie, whereby several Pokémon have been given a new lease of life courtesy of “realistic Pokémon” artist RJ Palmer.
Only time will reveal if these images are faithful to the finished character design and overall film, so look out for Sonic the Hedgehog, releasing in cinemas on November 8th, 2019.