There’s been much discussion following the recent unveiling of Sonic the Hedgehog’s movie redesign. While people are still on the fence about the Sonic the Hedgehog movie itself, nearly the entire internet agrees that the new Sonic is a vast improvement on the eerily-realistic and very negatively-received version Paramount Pictures was originally going to go with.
That the studio was willing to listen to the backlash and delay the movie’s release (remember, it was first supposed to be out this month) so the film’s visual effects artists could design a better Sonic has impressed fans and left them wondering how much their backlash cost them. This led to rumors this week that, between the delay and the extra VFX work, the Sonic redesign had cost a sizable $35 million, pushing the film’s total budget all the way up to $125 million.
But if the latest word on the matter is correct, those numbers are greatly exaggerated. According to Indiewire, citing a “source close to the Sonic the Hedgehog production,” it couldn’t have possibly cost Paramount dozens of millions of dollars to redo the film’s VFX work, simply because most of it hadn’t even been completed when the original Sonic the Hedgehog trailer dropped in April.
The source elaborates, claiming that the only completed VFX shots at that time were the ones seen in that trailer, like that shot of Sonic flashing his unsettling human-like teeth. Since the rest had yet to be finalized, it wasn’t all that taxing on the VFX artists or the film’s budget to redo it all with a redesigned Sonic. As such, the source estimates that, ultimately, changing Sonic’s look only set Paramount back $5 million at the most.
Should that be the case, this will probably come as a relief for fans who feared that their backlash was forcing the VFX team to work overtime as a result. But the fact that the first trailer came early on in the visual effects’ development probably won’t stamp out the funny fan theory that Sonic’s awful design was never actually meant to be in the movie, a sneaky marketing ploy to get people talking about the movie before being replaced with a proper Sonic in the actual film.
Sonic the Hedgehog hits theaters on February 14, 2020.