Sonic The Hedgehog was originally scheduled for a February 28 release in China. However, due to the growing threat of the coronavirus, this has now been delayed.
Most people will be very familiar of this character already, but just in case anyone has been living under a rock the Sonic the Hedgehog movie is based on the cult classic game franchise of the same name produced by Sega. Originally released in 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog is the 30th best selling game of all time. This pretty much speaks for itself when describing how popular and successful the game is.
Sony Pictures first tried to develop a Sonic movie back in 2014 but found no success. This was a very unfortunate time period for Sony Pictures with the Sony Pictures hack as well as other misfortunate events plaguing the company at the time. Sony’s lack of success led to Paramount acquiring the rights in 2017.
Starring Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as the voice of Sonic and Jim Carrey (Me, Myself & Irene) as the films main antagonist Dr. Ivo Robotnik/Dr. Eggman, Sonic’s arch-rival.
The movie has already faced an extreme amount of adversity. Fans were in outrage when Sonic’s character design was first revealed in the trailer (to be fair to them it was a total monstrosity). This led to the film being delayed for three months while the studio fully redesigned the character.
This now meant that the movie was moved back from its original November 2019 release date to February 2020. Yuji Naka, the co-creator of the tweeted his appreciation for the fans rebelling against the studio’s original design.
The redesign was well received by fans and seemingly won them over as the film went on to outshine the studio’s expectations at the box office.
Of course while all this was going on there were other external circumstances developing that were destined to create problems for the movie’s release. The coronavirus became a widespread problem in China after first being discovered in the city of Wuhan. Because of this China is on lockdown and there cinemas are closed indefinitely due to the rising epidemic. As of Monday there has been a reported 77,150 cases in China so far.
Paramount have issued the following statement about the delay saying “Due to the current coronavirus situation, the China release date of the film Sonic the Hedgehog will be postponed, and we will re-announce the new release date at a later time.” Many films have delayed their China release dates, stopped productions and cancelled premieres due to the threat of the virus. The most noteworthy being the latest James Bond movie, No Time To Die.
Sonic the Hedgehog is currently delayed indefinitely in China, but Paramount does still apparently plan to release the movie in China. Although, with the current situation its hard for them to pin down a release date. The Coronavirus still very much at large and we may have a while to wait before we see an end to its tirade.
Sonic the Hedgehog has actually been pretty successful so far. Even going as far to achieve the biggest box office opening weekend of any video game to movie adaptation, notably beating the recently released Detective Pikachu movie. Paramount has reassured fans that once China eventually reopens their cinemas, Paramount will debut Sonic the Hedgehog as was originally planned.
Paramount’s statement also thanked everyone involved with the efforts of fighting the coronavirus and the threat of its spread. They said:
“As the whole country and world unite together to fight the outbreak of coronavirus, we would like to express our gratitude and respect to all the medical staff, the rescue personnel, and people in service who provide us with much-needed assistance and support during this time.“
According to the World Health Organisation there has been 79,000 cases of the coronavirus worldwide and the disease has found its way to over 30 countries. Many businesses are facing the effects of the widespread panic including, gaming industries, theme parks and forex positions.
Hopefully we see an end to the virus soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those that have been affected by the disease.