Sonic the Hedgehog is a 2020 action-adventure comedy film based on the video game series published by Sega. Directed by Jeff Fowler (in his feature directorial debut) and written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller, it stars Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog, alongside Jim Carrey and James Marsden, with supporting roles by Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, and Neal McDonough. The film follows Sonic (voiced by Schwartz), a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog who can run supersonic speeds. He teams up with a town sheriff, Tom Wachowski (Marsden), to stop the mad scientist Dr. Robotnik (Carrey).
Development for a Sonic film began in the 1990s but did not leave the planning stage until Sony Pictures acquired the rights in 2013. Fowler was brought in to direct in 2016. After Sony put the project in turnaround, Paramount Pictures acquired it in 2017. Most of the cast signed on by August 2018, and principal filming took place between September and October that year in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. Following the negative reaction to the first trailer in 2019, Paramount delayed the film by three months to redesign Sonic.
Sonic the Hedgehog premiered at the Paramount Pictures studio lot on January 25, 2020, before being theatrically released in the United States on February 14. It set the record for the biggest opening weekend for a video game film in the United States and Canada and grossed $320 million worldwide, becoming the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2020, and was the highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time in North America until 2022, when it was surpassed by its sequel. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its action sequences, performances, and Sonic’s redesign, but criticized its screenplay, lack of ambition, and product placement. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released in 2022, while Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is scheduled for 2024. A spin-off miniseries starring Knuckles is in development.
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