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Sonic The Hedgehog Composer Tom Holkenborg Has Promising Words For Fans

You may not be as speedy as him, but you'll certainly want to race as fast as you can to see Sonic the Hedgehog on the silver screen next year.

Looper recently spoke with Sonic the Hedgehog composer Tom Holkenborg, who has also scored films like Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mad Max: Fury Road, Alita: Battle Angel, and the newly released Terminator: Dark Fate. In conversation, we asked if there was anything about Sonic that Holkenborg could tease — without spilling spoilers, of course. What Holkenborg said about the zippy blue hedgehog's forthcoming feature film is sure to make fans grin from ear to ear, and renew excitement for the Jeff Fowler-directed flick that has faced some troubles on the road to the big screen. 

"The only thing I can say is that it turned out to be a really, really great film, and it's so much fun to work on it," Holkenborg shared. "Really great characters. Really lovely, really cute at the same time. So I'm looking forward for that to finish."

The Sonic team is working hard

Anticipation for the project, based on SEGA's beloved video game franchise of the same name, was palpable from the minute Paramount Pictures announced in October 2017 that it had taken over Sonic the Hedgehog from Sony Pictures Entertainment and would be putting the pic on the fast track to development. Hype continued to build in February 2018, when Paramount confirmed Sonic the Hedgehog would race into cinemas in mid-November 2019 (which was later moved to early November 2019), and reached a fever pitch in the moments leading up to the release of the film's first trailer

When that footage finally arrived, however, reception was mixed at best and shockingly bad at worst — with the majority of fans feeling that the most important component of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic himself, lacked a certain je ne sais quoi in his design. As a CGI character interacting with humans like Jim Carrey's Dr. Robotnik, Sonic's archenemy with nefarious plans for world domination, and James Marsden's Tom Wachowski, the Montana sheriff who befriends Sonic and helps him try to defeat Dr. Robotnik, Sonic needed to look picture-perfect. Many fans weren't completely satisfied with the way Sonic appeared in the first trailer for the film, and Paramount took their criticisms in stride — then made an important decision.

Director Jeff Fowler announced shortly after the unveiling of the first Sonic the Hedgehog trailer that the special effects team would be going back to the drawing board, so to speak, to give Sonic a design overhaul. He tweeted in May 2019, "Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear... you aren't happy with the design & you want changes. It's going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be." The filmmaker subsequently confirmed that the redesign would delay the film, which is now slated to open in theaters on February 14, 2020.

Since then, we've seen peeks of what could be a possible Sonic redesign floating around online — with one photo even showing the new Sonic on an in-theater promotional standee – and the snaps suggest that the Sonic the Hedgehog team has done a bang-up job improving the titular character's appearance and are going to give fans basically everything they could want from the reworking. 

The conversation surrounding Sonic on the whole went from barbed — with fans all but taking out a flamethrower to collectively roast the character's in-movie design, poking fun at his "creepy human teeth" and odd body proportions — to appreciative. When the photos of the alleged redesign surfaced on social media, many who were initially critical of Sonic the Hedgehog changed their tune, calling the redesign "much, much better" and admitting that they were keen to see the film. One even wrote on Twitter that the purported visual update Sonic received looks so incredible that other teams handling Sonic-related content and products should "take notes" from the Sonic the Hedgehog film team: "[Movie Sonic's] redesign is so good it even makes the modern sonic design from the games look bland in comparison." 

It's clear that everyone involved with Sonic the Hedgehog is working both hard and smart to ensure a satisfying final product. And based on what Tom Holkenborg told us, the film is going to be more than worth it in the end. 

Sonic the Hedgehog will hit theaters on February 14, 2020.