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You'll no doubt have seen by now that SEGA and Paramount Pictures recently achieved the impossible. They universally pleased the Sonic The Hedgehog fanbase with their revised design for the character in the upcoming movie. Of course, this came months after SEGA and Paramount Pictures universally horrified the fanbase with their initial, freakish design for the character. Swings and roundabouts though, innit?
The bottom line is that the new Sonic looks great. Lovable, fun, and not at all reminiscent of a medieval tapestry depicting a demon that eats children who get lost in the woods. Just the way it should be. With that said, as soon as the new trailer and revised design dropped, people immediately began to question just how much the whole process would have cost Paramount.
The company not only needed to redesign, render, and animate Sonic from scratch, but it was assumed that they then needed to take the old Sonic out and replace him with the new design throughout the entirety of the feature-length movie.
Factor in the inevitable cost of new marketing and merchandise, and people began to reason that the entire venture would have set the studio back by a disgusting amount, though there were no official claims or reports to back this up.
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One (completely unsubstantiated) tweet actually suggested that the redesign had cost Paramount an estimated $35 million. However, a new report from IndieWire refutes this. The publication claims a source "close to the production" estimates the cost of the redesign to have been considerably less. Less than $5 million, in fact.
The report goes on to suggest that when the horrifying and much-detested first trailer for the Sonic movie dropped, the only VFX work that had been done was present in the trailer. As a result, taking the old Sonic out and replacing him with the new model would have been much cheaper than expected.
That's not to say the animators and designers didn't absolutely knock it out of the park with this redesign, of course. A ton of work inevitably still had to go into incorporating a new version of the title character... it was just around $30 million's worth less than previously assumed.
Whatever the cost, the end result seems to have been worth it. We won't know for sure until Sonic The Hedgehog speeds into cinemas on February 14th of course, but an awful lot of the people who swore they wouldn't go and see nightmare Sonic on the big screen have been won over by the redesign. Myself included.
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