SEGA talks about the delay/revamp of the Sonic movie, says everyone is 'keen to do the right thing'

And that's real good

Not that long ago, Paramount announced plans to push back the Sonic movie in order to revamp his look after an extremely negative backlash from fans. How did SEGA feel about the decision? Gamesindustry caught up with Sega Europe COO and president Gary Dale to find out.

"I think everybody's just keen to do the right thing. Obviously we have a very deep knowledge of the character and the brand. [Paramount] has a very deep knowledge of how to make movies. The trick is just to bring those two skillsets together to make the best film we can. To be fair, Paramount has been open to listening to feedback from the community around Sonic, which of course has got such a tremendously loyal fanbase with people with very specific views of who Sonic is, how Sonic should behave, how Sonic should look. And I think Paramount has taken a lot of that on board."

Following that, Mr. Dale was asked if SEGA has any plans to push forward with other movies, but with SEGA taking on the bulk of film creation.

"I don't really think so. I think the opportunity with Sonic is a particular situation for that film. And I think there's a view here that we're very good at making video games and Paramount is very good at making pictures... This is a film. I think the idea that you try to control Paramount would be the wrong approach. But at the same time, for Paramount not to take into account our views on Sonic would also be wrong. I think we're looking for a creative partnership that gets the best film. And over the years, I look at the success of game franchises in film and it's very mixed. The idea that games makers can control the process and create great movies... I don't know if that's true or not."

Categories: Interviews
Tags: sega, sonic


Tue Aug 13 19 04:22pm
Rating: 1

"...The idea that games makers can control the process and create great movies... I don't know if that's true or not."

The thing is though when film makers, who aren't familiar with or care about the IP, are given 100% creative control, they lose any connection to the fans of the original. I'm not saying you have to follow the games one-to-one but when it doesn't even slightly match the spirit of what the series/game is, you kinda messed up already. You are able to make a movie that appeals to both fans and "the general audience" alike.

It really depends. I think it's an issue with passion more so than the fans. The same guy who wrote X-Men: First Class, which was well-received, went on to write Man of Steel, which got a mixed-to-negative reception. He was not a fan of X-Men, but he's a fan of Superman. His approach to First Class was that, since he wasn't a fan and had to start from scratch, he would write it in such a way as to not lock people out. But he was a fan of Superman, and he didn't do that with Man of Steel, which caused people to feel Supes was acting out of character.

A similar fate happened to the live-action Popeye film by Robert Altman in the eary 80s. A major plot point, for instance, was that Popeye did not like eating spinach, an he had to be coerced and cornered for him to do so. This would seem weird for most people familiar with Popeye--except that the comic strips really DID begin with him refusing to eat spinach and stayed that way for years, and the mainstream is only familiar with him post-character-growth.

Watchmen is about as close as you can get to a one-to-one adaptation from a niche medium to a movie. Zack Snyder is a DC fan through and through, and you can see it in the strive for faithfulness. It managed to upset both the fans and the general viewing public because the comic books' length meant things needed to be cut out (most notably the Tales of the Black Freighter subplot), and what got cut out, because Snyder knew Watchmen a little TOO well, were things necessary to sympathize with and understand the characters. He knew all of the plot points by heart and focused on that, leaving the characters feeling like they're being dragged along for the ride. The history of superheroes prior to when Watchmen takes place, which is important to fully get the scale of the plot (and is critical to understanding characters like Nite Owl and Silk Spectre), was also condensed into a no-dialogue montage making up the opening credits.

It's usually very hard to make something that appeals to both the fans and general audiences, because for the most part, they want pretty different things. The writers know this, so you either get stuff like the above, or you get stuff like Shrek or Guardians of the Galaxy, whose strategy is to create new fans.

It's all about the money, the film makers dont give a damn about the series fans, just that it's a high profile IP that has a lot of potential for merchandising to children and parents who don't know any better.

"... which of course has got such a tremendously loyal fanbase with people with very specific views of who Sonic is, how Sonic should behave, how Sonic should look."

Mr. Dale knows exactly what he's talking about here. This is PR-ese for "Sonic fans are unpleasable." (I don't mean about the movie specifically, by the way, but about Sonic in general.)

I wonder if it's also a veiled jab at CWC being so angry at Sonic's blue arms for Sonic Boom that he ran around vandalizing stores with Sonic Boom displays and pepper-spraying anyone who got in his way.

I still stand by my previous comments that the design being changed won't save anything. The movie is fundamentally flawed from a conceptual standpoint at it's core from the way it's being handled as is typical of old Hollywood farts who are disconnected from the average person (Or in this case, the average video game/Sonic fan). Sure, you're getting your authentic Sonic design back again, but you're still stuck with the bargain bin DVD production surrounding him too. There is no redesigning that. It is Pixels tier.

The reason why video game movies always suck is because video game creators are not the leading directors. Joe Schmoe over there doesn't give a fuck about the lore or the intricacies of the gameplay of your IP and how that can play out narratively sensibly, he just sees a popular pop culture commodity that he wants to mutate to please the unwitting masses. Or at least, that's how they choose to believe it'll work.

There's a view here that we're very good at making video games

You think so? I mean you still haven't made a good Sonic game besides Mania.


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