The “Sonic the Hedgehog” franchise started life as a video game, before branching out to comic books and multiple animated series. The next stop may be a hybrid animated/live-action film, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
A “Sonic” film is currently in development at Sony Pictures under producer Neal Moritz, whose recent credits include the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, Dark Horse Comics adaptation “R.I.P.D.,” “21 Jump Street” and its upcoming sequel, “22 Jump Street.” Sony is teaming with Marza Animation Planet, a CG animation production company under the Sega Sammy Holdings umbrella. Comedy writers Evan Susser and Van Robichaux are on board to write the screenplay, and the article notes that a role for Sonic’s perpetual nemesis Doctor Eggman is planned.
“There are limitless stories to tell with a character like Sonic the Hedgehog and a built-in international fan base,” Columbia Pictures president of production Hannah Minghella is quoted by THR. “Along with our wonderful creative partners at Marza, we’re looking to capture everything that generations of fans know and love about Sonic while also growing his audience wider than ever before.”
“Sonic the Hedgehog” debuted in 1991 with the original game for the Sega Genesis console, with the most recent release, “Sonic Lost World,” out last fall. The game also inspired a long-running Archie Comics series, which has been published continuously since 1992. Sonic quickly become Sega’s mascot, and multiple animated series starring the character have aired over the years, many of which featured Jaleel White — best known as Steve Urkel from “Family Matters” — as the voice of the titular fast-paced hedgehog.