Paramount Confronts ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Backlash by Trolling Fans With Marketing
Paramount Pictures isn’t letting fan backlash get in the way of its upcoming family tentpole “Sonic the Hedgehog.” The film marks the feature directorial debut of Jeff Fowler, who was Oscar nominated for his short film “Gopher Broke” and served as an animation researcher on Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” Similar to next year’s “Detective Pikachu,” Paramount’s “Sonic” is a live-action/animated hybrid, using motion capture CGI to insert an animated Sonic into the real world. The results have been polarizing, to say the least.
Ever since Paramount released a motion poster for the film on December 10, fans have taken to social media to criticize Sonic’s new look (read ScreenRant’s Best Reactions To Those Creepy Sonic the Hedgehog Posters), which included a more muscular physique than normally presented by the video game hero, as evidenced by Sonic’s now-beefy legs. The backlash only grew after a second poster highlighted Sonic’s legs covered in CGI fur.
In an inspired and slightly polarizing move, Paramount released a third poster on December 17 that trolled the entire controversy. The one-sheet features Sonic holding up a poster in front of him that reads: “Can’t a guy work out? See you next year.” The only part of Sonic’s body seen are his legs, which appear even more muscular than they did in either of the previous posters. Paramount’s caption used the hashtag #RespectTheLegs, so the studio has made it clear it plans to confront the backlash head on and refuses to back down.
“Sonic” is being produced by “Deadpool” director Tim Miller, who previously defended the character’s look in an interview with IGN. “It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different,” he said. “It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature.”
Paramount will open “Sonic the Hedgehog” nationwide November 8, 2019.
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