The next step in Tim Miller's post-"Deadpool" film career will involve another popular character from the '90s, but one with a considerably more all-ages bent than this year's bawdy, R-rated hit. Miller is slated to develop a "Sonic the Hedgehog" live-action feature film for Sony Pictures, as reported Monday by THR.
The movie is planned as a family-friendly hybrid of live-action and computer-generated animation, with Miller executive producing and Jeff Fowler, Miller's collaborator at visual effects company Blur Studio, set to direct. Patrick Casey and Josh Miller on board as writers, and Neal H. Moritz (of the "Fast and the Furious" and "XXX" franchises) as producer. If the film happens, it'll be Fowler's directorial debut -- but Blur has a pretty good track record with first-time directors: "Deadpool" was Miller's directorial debut.
"Jeff is an incredible director with strong story instincts," Miller is quoted by THR. "The world of Sonic presents the perfect opportunity for him to leverage his experience in animation to bring new dimension to this iconic character."
A Sonic film has been in the works at Sony for a couple of years now, with Moritz attached since the initial news in 2014. The character had a cameo in 2012's Disney animated film "Wreck-It Ralph," but this would be the first proper Sonic feature film. Sonic the Hedgehog debuted in a 1991 Sega Genesis game, and soon became one of the most recognizable characters in video games, starring in a long-running Archie Comics series and multiple cartoons. Though Sonic was closely associated with Sega's consoles as the company's mascot, he's outlived Sega's years as a hardware manufacturer, now starring in games on a variety of platforms, including this year's "Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games" and "Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice."
"Deadpool" was a major success for both Miller and 20th Century Fox, with the long-in-development film far outpacing expectations and finishing with a $782.6 million worldwide take off of a reported $58 million budget. Miller, who co-founded Blur Studio in 1995, was widely credited with getting the film finally made, after a test sequence leaked online in 2014, sparking a clamor among fans eager to see "Deadpool" officially happen.
Miller was expected to return for the "Deadpool" sequel alongside star Ryan Reynolds, but earlier this month was reported as having left the film due to creative differences. Directors including David Leitch, Drew Goddard and Magnus Martens have all been reported as candidates to take over the sequel.