Whether you love the idea of a live-action Sonic The Hedgehog film, or detest it to your very core, it's happening.
It could be brilliant. It could be a complete disaster. But however it turns out - and we'll find out in November 2019 - arguably the biggest fear surrounding the project concerns how SEGA's famous blue blur will cross into the 'real world'.
The film's producers, so far, have yet to release a full trailer depicting Sonic's new, reality-checked look. But we have now had a taste of what to expect, thanks to a 'motion poster' - as tweeted by IGN (see below) - that ends with a silhouette of questionable quality.
Oh yes, this has very much upset some corners of the internet. How could it not? Take a character that's been around a while, slap a new coat of paint on it, and presto: angry online uproar. We've seen it with She-Ra, Thundercats... and back in the (pre-internet) day, there was the small matter of a certain Super Mario movie.
Before we get to that reaction, though, let's breakdown the new and improved(?) Sonic the Hedgehog. For one, he quite clearly has fur, or is at least on the fluffy side, rather than being a 2D/3D cartoon animal with smooth textures.
According to the film's executive producer Tim Miller, "That was always Stage 1 of adapting it to what the real world is and what a real animal would be like."
"It would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing," he continued. "It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It's part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature."
Okay, so that's one 'necessary', albeit creepy, addition. But what about his new trainers? "We looked at every different variation of what shoes he's worn and we're trying to pay homage to that and also make it current and present day in what we think a Sonic of today would wear," producer Neal Moritz explained.
Beyond that, there's not that much Sonic fans can actually go on, based on this poster. Most of Sonic's face and body is blacked out, due to a rather unfortunate shadow. (Wait, Shadow?) This means you can't make fully see his eyes, something that is going to be make or break for the feature-film 'hog. They can't be too cartoon-y, but they can't be too real. And judging by SEGA's reaction, you may be disappointed with the outcome once they're revealed.
"I don't think SEGA was entirely happy with the eye decision," Miller explained, "but these sorts of things you go, 'It's going to look weird if we don't do this.' But everything is a discussion, and that's kind of the goal, which is to only change what's necessary and stay true to the rest of it," "He's not going to feel like a Pixar character would because I don't think that's the right aesthetic to make it feel like part of our world."
Finally, how will the speed demon move? Sonic's fast feet are his most iconic feature, but, again, producers are keeping this particular aspect of his animation to themselves. For now.
"The first thing you need to do is put limits on it. If you can do anything, nothing is special. For me, it's always about keeping it grounded and keeping it realistic," Miller said. "We had some time to figure out the speed: What it looks like, what it feels like for a character to do that, and how it relates to our world.
"It took a little trial and error, but that's animation in figuring out what the effect looks like and what it does to the rest of the world around it. The speed changes over time because he evolves, because he can't do everything at the beginning of the movie. It's finding the visual language and figuring out how it's going to evolve over time."
And that's about it. But before you go, take a look at some of the most imaginative reactions to the motion poster reveal:
What do you think about this news? Are you looking forward to the film? How would *you* design Sonic? Do you like these ideas? Make sure you let us know.
Featured Image Credit: SEGA