‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Director Bends to Fanboy Criticism Amid Character Design Backlash

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

The Sonic the Hedgehog trailer dropped earlier this week and, as you may have noticed, was firmly rejected by the internet. Director Jeff Fowler has now taken to Twitter to address the vitriolic response.

The move marks an unprecedented turn for Hollywood. While we’ve seen our fair share of course correcting across Warner Bros.’ budding DCEU, a director publicly caving to fan pressures and retooling a film mid-production is a new one. And frankly, it’s lame as fuck to me.

Adding Steve Buscemi eyes = automatic fix

Adding Steve Buscemi eyes = automatic fix

Yes, the design and effects need touching up, especially the teeth. Lawd…the fucking teeth. But the thing is, Fowler had a vision. He shot the film around that vision. Betraying that vision, because the internet has a typically overblown reaction to it sets a horrible precedent for filmmaking moving forward. It puts control over the creative process in the wrong hands: the audience.

And yes, I get that ultimately the audience is the final consumer. I get that as a filmmaker working at a giant corporation like Paramount, you certainly want to please that consumer. But for fuck’s sake, have a backbone. Even if you’re making a turd, stand by it. You’re still an artist. Be proud of your art. I’m not alone in this view either. James Mangold addressed this very trend last year.

With the shit Fowler just pulled, I have no doubt that we’re going to see fewer and fewer visionaries taking on bigger franchise flicks. And as a result, we’ll get more generic, fast food style films that are made by committees. But that can change if fans just learn to unclutch their nostalgia pearls and give other minds a chance to show them something different.

Sonic the Hedgehog hits theaters this November provided the redesign doesn’t delay things further. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer here and yell at me in the comment below.