In a quick turnaround worthy of the mutated blue hedgehog himself, it looks like the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie has been saved, with the horrific, unsettlingly toothy Sonic design (which was so derided Paramount delayed the film to fix it) replaced by something closer to the videogame character’s classic appearance.
Already fans are much happier with the new trailer, to the extent that you can’t help but feel Paramount did themselves a favour by getting it so wrong in the first place.
Think about it – if this new trailer, filled with wacky Jim Carrey antics, awkward CGI/human interaction and a wisecracking animal lead voice by Jean-Ralphio off of Parks and Rec had come out in a vacuum, it’s easy to imagine that it might have been greeted with an indifferent shrug, or some gentle ribbing about its status as a sub-par Detective Pikachu.
But now, after we’ve seen a much worse version of this film? Well, by comparison the new take looks like a silver screen classic, a piece of cinema that Martin Scorcese might slip into his films of the year list.
Yes, this is better press than the studio could have ever hoped for if they’d just got it right the first time – and already, some fans are wondering if this was all part of their plan in the first place.
That’s right. 'Sonic truthers' are now a thing.
For my money (or gold rings), this conspiracy theory doesn’t really stack up – spending millions on trailers, merchandise and posters that would have to be scrapped, expensively shifting a release date and advertising your incompetence to the world might not be worth the chance of people being pleasantly surprised by your second attempt – but perhaps there’s a lesson we can learn from the Sonic debacle anyway.
Clearly, from now on we should all release a terrible, universally derided version of whatever we’re trying to accomplish first, before apologising and bringing out another version that, no matter how mediocre, looks like gold by comparison.
Imagine how much less disappointed fans might have been with Game of Thrones’ final season if we’d first seen a trailer where Jon Snow was inexplicably recast as a dead-eyed CGI creation (well, maybe that wouldn’t have been so different), or the dragons broke into a rap duet halfway through the action? By comparison, what HBO eventually did put out would have seemed all the better.
Which is why, following the inevitable backlash, I’ll be happy to bow to the will of my many fans and rerelease this article with properly considered arguments, hilarious jokes and well-written prose several months from now. I thank you for your patience.
Sonic the Hedgehog is released on Valentine’s Day 2020