The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise will return with a second film in April 2022. So far as it’s written following the video game’s storyline, the director has decided to take another route for the next sequel.
Debuted in early 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog is a film series that adapts the story of the video game of the same name released by Sega. Directed by Jeff Fowler, the Sonic franchise has now managed to become a continuous film series after the first film that was an unexpected success.
In this film, the titular Sonic will meet Knuckles and Tails; two characters that Sonic video game fans are familiar with. Adapting the games Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 into one film, the director admitted that he wanted to change the wheel in the next film.
“I don’t want to make a film that is linear following the flow of a video game,” he said.
Jeff’s decision certainly sounds surprising to the fans, because so far the film Sonic the Hedgehog has been a success because of the trace story that is lifted directly from the video game. However, according to Jeff, the method is important to do in order to create a story that is fresh but still familiar.
“It’s good to see the fans don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s better this way than just adapting immediately,” continued Jeff.
Raising many video game elements from the setting to the battle scene, the film Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is believed to be able to further remove the curse of video game adaptations on the big screen when it airs on April 6, 2022.
By April 2020, Marsden had expressed his interest in a sequel featuring several characters from the video games, including Tails, who appeared in a mid-credits scene in the first film. Director Jeff Fowler also expressed interest in developing a sequel that focused on Sonic and Tails’ friendship and further developed Dr. Robotnik. Later that month, Schwartz said that he felt it made sense for Paramount Pictures to not have announced a sequel by that point due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also adding that he was interested in a sequel featuring Tails and a more game-accurate portrayal of Robotnik. Later that month, Sonic the Hedgehog co-writer Pat Casey revealed that there had been talks about a sequel, though the film had not been greenlit by Paramount by that point. He also said that Carrey was interested in wearing a fatsuit in a sequel to more closely resemble Robotnik’s video game appearance.
In May, Paramount Pictures confirmed that a sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog was in development, with Fowler set to return as director alongside writers Casey and Josh Miller. Neal H. Mortiz, Toby Ascher, and Toru Nakahara will produce the sequel, having previously co-produced the first film alongside Takeshi Ito, while Tim Miller, Hajime Satomi, and Haruki Satomi will return from the first film as executive producers.
In December, it was confirmed by storyboard artist Fill Marc that artist Tyson Hesse, who redesigned Sonic for the first film, would return. The film title was announced as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in February 2021. In May, a synopsis of the story was released as Paramount submitted a patent to the U.S. Copyright Office catalog.
The film is inspired by the video games Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994), but is not a direct adaptation of either. Fowler described the film as “a melting pot” of ideas from several Sonic games.
On January 27, 2020, Jim Carrey expressed interest in starring in a sequel, feeling that his character, the villain Dr. Robotnik, could be expanded in the sequel: “I wouldn’t mind going to do another one because it was so much fun, first of all, and a real challenge to try to convince people that I have a triple-digit IQ… There is so much room, you know, Robotnik has not reached his apotheosis.” On March 6, 2020, Sonic the Hedgehog star James Marsden confirmed that he had signed on for multiple sequels.
On January 26, 2021, Tika Sumpter announced that she would reprise her role as Maddie Wachowski. In March 2021, it was announced that Ben Schwartz and Jim Carrey would reprise their roles as Sonic and Robotnik respectively. That same month, it was confirmed that Adam Pally would reprise his role as Wade Whipple. In April 2021, James Marsden was confirmed to return as Tom Wachowski. On June 16, 2021, it was announced that Shemar Moore had joined the cast in an undisclosed role. On August 10, 2021, it was announced that Idris Elba had officially joined the cast as the voice of Knuckles the Echidna. That same month, it was confirmed that Natasha Rothwell would reprise her role as Rachel. On September 29, 2021, it was announced that Lee Majdoub would reprise his role as Agent Stone. On December 7, 2021, Colleen O’Shaughnessey announced she would return to voice Miles “Tails” Prower. On January 23, 2022, it was announced that Tom Butler and Elfina Luk would reprise their roles as Commander Walters and the Secretary of Homeland Security.
In December 2020, it was reported that the BC Film Commission had listed that the production of the film would occur from March 15 to May 10, 2021, under the working title Emerald Hill, a reference to the opening zone in the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 video game. In January 2021, Tika Sumpter revealed that the film would shoot in both Vancouver and Hawaii.
Principal photography began in Vancouver on March 15, 2021, with Brandon Trost serving as cinematographer. As a way to show his gratitude to the crew, Carrey held a raffle on May 7 in order to give away a Chevrolet Blazer; the car was eventually given to a grip. Filming in Vancouver concluded on May 12, 2021. Filming wrapped in Hawaii on June 25, 2021.
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