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Ken Penders Scrapped Sonic Movie

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Those screenshots look creepy especially the second and last ones o_O it actually scared me unsure.pngblush.png everyone looks odd in the last pic especially Sonic and Knuckles smiling with WIDE eyes, next to Knuckles JS looks like she's stoned o_o

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And don't think the late Mr Hurst was in cahoots on Penders' thing, either;

I did consult with DIC to see if there was a way to generate some enthusiasm for a feature film to be the "Third Season" of SatAm. I was given the name of a SEGA executive and had a most pleasant conversation. She had to go to a meeting, but said she would like to talk to me more about the idea.

The next day, I got a call from Ken Penders, who had been alerted by his contact in their office that I was interested in getting a Sonic movie going. I generously offered to include him in the effort and told him my strategy. Get SEGA to become invested in the idea by hiring us to interview their creative game designers, execs, etc and see if we could develop a story line that would fulfill the third season - and simultaneously give them creative ideas to develop new games. A win-win, situation.

Then, I called SEGA back, but I was shocked when the exec "lit" into me, telling me, "People pay US to develop Sonic product, we don't pay them!" Then she hung up on me. Obviously, Penders had related my strategy to them in a less-than-flattering way. Thanks for the knife, Ken.

So, I gave up. Later, I was informed by friendly fans that Penders had written in his message board or some such place that "Ben Hurst doesn't know how movies are made in Hollywood." (Hey Ken, read "Adventures in Screenwriting" by William Goldman and get some humility) Then he dropped hints that HE would be the writer for a big Sonic Feature Film. That was three years ago.

So, if you're reading between the lines, you can see I don't hold out much hope for seeing the third season of Satam - or being the one who does it if it happens. And that makes me sad. Because if it were to happen, those 13 episodes would sizzle.

But this I've learned: Never leave a series on a cliffhanger unless you have a contract for the next year. And be more careful in my choice of people to confide in.

May this find you all in good health and spirits - and who knows? Miracles could still happen with Satam. But I think the odds of hitting the California Lotto are slightly better.

Best to all,

Ben Hurst

From the alt.fan.sonic-hedgehog newsgroup (2005):

Just for the record: Ken [Penders of Archie comics] has often said (paraphrasing here) that "Ben Hurst says the torch has been passed to me for Sonic the Hedgehog" - usually expressed in a way to make it appear that I passed the torch to him. Not true. I was just trying to be nice. What I said was that since the comic was ongoing and the animated series was over, the torch had been passed [by default] to him. I was just trying to prevent a flurry of inquiries from fans pitting his opinion against mine on how the Sonic Universe should be sculpted after SatAm ended. The way he has expressed it in the past seems to convey the impression that he has my approval of his work. He doesn't. I've not read a single comic.

Best to all,

Ben Hurst

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That's an incredibly closed minded statement. The character is not the problem, it's how you utilize it.

No, the characters are most definitely the problem. Not because of their personalities, skills, background, or anything. Simply, it's a matter of everyone outside Canada and the States going "who the fuck are these people?" and hating the movie based on that. Far better to have a movie in either its own continuity (but limited to game-canon characters), or a film set in the game's canon that also has its own tie-in game. At least you get to keep the game voices for it.

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I don't think that addresses the point well. Certainly you could write any film in such a way that movie-going audiences who probably don't even play the games anymore much less know who even Shadow is would familiarize themselves with the Archie cast. The online hardcore base would only be a fraction of the theater-going audience if such an endeavor were done and marketed right, so theoretically you could get away with some cross-continuity stuff.

I doubt Sega as strict as they can be about the property would let you do it though (and I certainly wouldn't want that), but there you go.

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I don't think that addresses the point well. Certainly you could write any film in such a way that movie-going audiences who probably don't even play the games anymore much less know who even Shadow is would familiarize themselves with the Archie cast. The online hardcore base would only be a fraction of the theater-going audience if such an endeavor were done and marketed right, so theoretically you could get away with some cross-continuity stuff.

I doubt Sega as strict as they can be about the property would let you do it though (and I certainly wouldn't want that), but there you go.

Except it's a Sonic the Hedgehog film, which even grandmothers know is a video game series. They'd wonder who these newfangled characters are and why they aren't in the games.

Let me put it this way: You do not make a movie out of fanon using fancharacters.

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Except it's a Sonic the Hedgehog film, which even grandmothers know is a video game series. They'd wonder who these newfangled characters are and why they aren't in the games.

Let me put it this way: You do not make a movie out of fanon using fancharacters.

My point is, you could say the same thing for the newer characters in the actual games because- to the general public who aren't as fanatical about the series as you and I are- Shadow the Hedgehog is as much a "newfangled character" as Rotor is. The newer characters aren't the ones that were in the limelight in the 90s, so they probably don't have as much exposure as you think they do, thus they would require the same amount of explanation to the general audience as an Archie character would. Seriously; Go out on the streets and ask a potential grandma who "Big the Cat" is. My guess is she'll say he's a crappy Hanna-Barbara character she forgot in her childhood.

Edit: In thinking about it, I would also put Amy in that category. She's in the same boat as the Chaotix are in that she only got her real jump in exposure in a later era after the classics in which she appeared, thus she's probably not all that well-known either outside of the main three and Eggman. And you can't have a Sonic movie without Amy; no siree.

Edited by Nepenthe

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My point is, you could say the same thing for the newer characters in the actual games because- to the general public who aren't as fanatical about the series as you and I are- Shadow the Hedgehog is as much a "newfangled character" as Rotor is. The newer characters aren't the ones that were in the limelight in the 90s, so they probably don't have as much exposure as you think they do, thus they would require the same amount of explanation to the general audience as an Archie character would. Seriously; Go out on the streets and ask a potential grandma who "Big the Cat" is. My guess is she'll say he's a crappy Hanna-Barbara character she forgot in her childhood.

Edit: In thinking about it, I would also put Amy in that category. She's in the same boat as the Chaotix are in that she only got her real jump in exposure in a later era after the classics in which she appeared, thus she's probably not all that well-known either outside of the main three and Eggman. And you can't have a Sonic movie without Amy; no siree.

I for one can agree with your edited statement. I am a huge fan of sonic but since I never played Sonic CD I had no idea who Amy was when I first played Sonic Adventure and the only exposure I got to the chaotix was with the archie comics so I knew who they were when they were reintroduced in Heroes. Plus look at the Macy's thanksgiving parade last year when Sonic appeared. I facepalmed so hard the way the annoucers tried to explain who sonic was.

Edited by Team Chaotix

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I think you may be slightly misjudging the audience, here. I mean, what percentage of the people who would hypothetically see this will be grandmas? Given the target demographic, you're more likely to get families with young kids going to see this. The parents aren't really a concern in terms of exposure (since their only job from SEGA's perspective is to buy their kids Sonic stuff that they want), and the kids are more likely to be at least savvy enough with the series to know Amy and Shadow.

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My point is, you could say the same thing for the newer characters in the actual games because- to the general public who aren't as fanatical about the series as you and I are- Shadow the Hedgehog is as much a "newfangled character" as Rotor is. The newer characters aren't the ones that were in the limelight in the 90s, so they probably don't have as much exposure as you think they do, thus they would require the same amount of explanation to the general audience as an Archie character would. Seriously; Go out on the streets and ask a potential grandma who "Big the Cat" is. My guess is she'll say he's a crappy Hanna-Barbara character she forgot in her childhood.

Edit: In thinking about it, I would also put Amy in that category. She's in the same boat as the Chaotix are in that she only got her real jump in exposure in a later era after the classics in which she appeared, thus she's probably not all that well-known either outside of the main three and Eggman. And you can't have a Sonic movie without Amy; no siree.

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Looking again at the cast pic, you can tell that Penders had major Knuckles bias even though it's supposed to be about Sonic. Where are the other fucking Freedom Fighters, I'm pretty sure they'd be more relevant to Sonic (the character) than Julie-Su and the Chaotix.

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Sonic has been around for 20 years, there is the slight possibility that you will run into some parents that do/did follow sonic when they were younger and have exposure to the Archie characters

Edited by TimberWolf

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Whenever some brings up the words 'Sonic' and 'Movie' that usually equals shit. sleep.png

Remember this:

Yeah I don't want that for Sonic.

To this day I don't understand why I liked that movie so much as a kid. ( Yeah I can, I was hooked to anything that had Mario bros in name, title, or reference when I was a kid)

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True, but also look at the numbers: Archie Sonic has an entire world, with its own Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, etc. with their own backstories, personalities, and friendships to explain. The games... Don't have that as much, and what stories the characters have are much shorter and more basic. "Hi, this is Shadow. He's the Ultimate Lifeform created by Eggman's grandfather Gerald Robotnik, who is fueled by the Chaos Emeralds and is currently in the employ of Guardian Unit of Nations." Is far easier than. "This is Julie-Su, she's an Echidna and Knuckles' girlfriend, and is also a reformed member of a techo-worshipping Echidna cult called the Dark Legion led by Knuckles' ancestor Dimitri and Julie's half-sister Lien-Da. Dimitri is currently a head in a floating jar because of-

You're purposefully framing these characters' backgrounds in a misleading way to make the Archie cast seem way out of the scope of a film project which is very misleading and not making your argument any more credible. A literal book could be written about Shadow's background and his "current" history from just the three major appearances he's had alone.

But as for your actual point, of course it would be easier to go with Sega-centric characters only. I don't disagree with you, but I still assert that it is not suddenly impossible to have an Archie-centric film, or a film with Archie characters in it, on the basis that the characters are somehow too complex. Archie isn't complex in the grand scheme of media the world has had, especially film and all of the things that have been adapted to it. Archie is merely extensive. You can trim the fat of comic backstory- as is almost always done for the Marvel and DC-centered media that we all watch every summer- get the basic gist of the characters, and throw them into a situation. This is not an insurmountable task. This is not even a difficult one.

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True, but also look at the numbers: Archie Sonic has an entire world, with its own Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, etc. with their own backstories, personalities, and friendships to explain. The games... Don't have that as much, and what stories the characters have are much shorter and more basic. "Hi, this is Shadow. He's the Ultimate Lifeform created by Eggman's grandfather Gerald Robotnik, who is fueled by the Chaos Emeralds and is currently in the employ of Guardian Unit of Nations." Is far easier than. "This is Julie-Su, she's an Echidna and Knuckles' girlfriend, and is also a reformed member of a techo-worshipping Echidna cult called the Dark Legion led by Knuckles' ancestor Dimitri and Julie's half-sister Lien-Da. Dimitri is currently a head in a floating jar because of-

The entire Shadow Saga in the games was far more convoluted than anything the comics has ever come up with. Especially if you look at all the supplementary "Truth about 50 years ago" material.

Sorry, my brain stopped there for a second. My point is, it'd be much easier to introduce and explain the newer characters with their simpler backstories than it would be the Archie characters, especially if you pick-and-choose which character's you use and which you don't. A movie could easily be in its own continuity and use whatever characters it wants, or literally anywhere in the game canon. Set it after Generations? Fine, you can choose what characters you use and easily limit it to just Sonic, Tails, Eggman, and maybe Knuckles and Amy. Set in sometime before, maybe even in the Classic Era? Alright, you have even less characters to worry about. Adapt a previous game or games, like Adventure 2 or both 2 and 3&K? You have the story already made for you, which in the case of Adventure 2 includes the origin story of Shadow himself.

You are missing the point entirely. The histories of the characters in their origin continuities would be entirely irrelevant to the movies. G1 Optimus Prime is not Armada Optimus Prime who is not the Live Action Optimus Prime. The movie characters could have similar origins and personalities, yes, but it would not be exactly as they are in any other continuity. It would all be done in a way that flows together and works without spending needless amounts of time on exposition. A good example would be any Marvel super hero movie ever.

Also, the argument about "alienating regions" is completely nullfied by the creation and addition of new characters to the game continuity. These are foreign to everyone and for the most part come along and fit in just fine. It'd be the same deal with a Sonic movie.

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...Why is Sonic's nose melting off of his face?

I am all for people having their own style of drawing things, but Penders' style just is genuinely aesthetically un-pleasing. I'm not a fan of the Archie comics, and not a huge fan of SatAM (I'm one of those AoStH blasphemers, I'm afraid!), but they don't deserve this in the slightest.

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You are missing the point entirely. The histories of the characters in their origin continuities would be entirely irrelevant to the movies. G1 Optimus Prime is not Armada Optimus Prime who is not the Live Action Optimus Prime. The movie characters could have similar origins and personalities, yes, but it would not be exactly as they are in any other continuity. It would all be done in a way that flows together and works without spending needless amounts of time on exposition. A good example would be any Marvel super hero movie ever.

Also, the argument about "alienating regions" is completely nullfied by the creation and addition of new characters to the game continuity. These are foreign to everyone and for the most part come along and fit in just fine. It'd be the same deal with a Sonic movie.

I think the point is that the majority of Sonic fans (not the average moviegoers, but the average FANs) follow the game continuity, and introducing foreign elements, such as characters from the Archie comics, or even new characters exclusive to the movie, would alienate them.

Really don't care about the Transformers comparisons you're making. I know tons of people who hated those films for this very reason. Sonic, to most people, is a videogame franchise. They are going to look at a Sonic movie as an adaptation of a videogame franchise. And if the fans think the movie does a bad job of interpreting or portraying the game's world and characters, that's totally fair and legitimate criticism. It's fine if you want to see the Archie characters or whatever, or you think it's okay if a movie were to deviate from Sonic's story (as all of Sonic's media has) but you make it sound like wanting an accurate interpretation and familiar elements in a Sonic movie is somehow moot because "it's not the same."

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I think the point is that the majority of Sonic fans (not the average moviegoers, but the average FANs) follow the game continuity, and introducing foreign elements, such as characters from the Archie comics, or even new characters exclusive to the movie, would alienate them.

Not only are they a vast minority compared to the general public, but they're overall fickle enough where they're going to see the movie anyway.

Really don't care about the Transformers comparisons you're making. I know tons of people who hated those films for this very reason.

I'm...sorry? You don't have to really "care". Just understand how well they're proving my point (Especially because I'm going to keep making them as long as needed). Those "tons of people" didn't hate with their wallets, and each film in the series was a box office smash, despite the second one being critically panned. We can say all we want about Michael Bay, but you know what, his movies made money. Lots of it.

Sonic, to most people, is a videogame franchise. They are going to look at a Sonic movie as an adaptation of a videogame franchise. And if the fans think the movie does a bad job of interpreting or portraying the game's world and characters, that's totally fair and legitimate criticism. It's fine if you want to see the Archie characters or whatever, or you think it's okay if a movie were to deviate from Sonic's story (as all of Sonic's media has) but you make it sound like wanting an accurate interpretation and familiar elements in a Sonic movie is somehow moot because "it's not the same."

You need to stop looking at this through the eyes of a fanboy and start looking at the bigger picture. You're grossly overestimating the relevancy of the Sonic fandom. You don't make a movie on a licensed IP for the sole purpose of catering to its fanbase. This is probably Hollywood Film Making 101. Sure, you keep them in mind, unless you want a Dragonball Evolution on your hands, but they're not the primary draw.

While the games are the medium that has the largest revenue, you're forgetting about the people whose only exposure to Sonic was the old shows from over a decade ago. The people who've never played a Sonic game in their lives, but have read every issue of the US or EU comic series, or watched every episode of Sonic X or even Sonic Undergound. Plus, we haven't even begun to get into the people who know nothing about Sonic at all. There's a whole lot more Sonic than just a video game series, or a comic book, or a TV show.

The ideal situation would be to draw in all of them, as well as the general public. You will not get this by restricting yourself to the framework of any one specific continuity.

EDIT: You know, I'm waaay off topic I think. Then again, I suppose this thread may be more interesting than the actual topic since it's Ken Penders XD

Edited by Aquaslash

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After reading all that, why is it so hard to simply address the fact that the movie is completely based off the Archie comics? If I saw that somewhere on the big screen, or in a movie poster, or in a trailer, then it would explain how different it is! It's their(non familiar fans) fault if they decide to watch the movie and then come out hating it because it didn't center around the main characters they grew up with (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles). They should have known beforehand that it is going to be different from their console games- and here I'm just talking about fans of the games, like Aquaslash said, there are so many different types- and who's to say a "games only" fan wouldn't at least be interested to see it? and whether or not he/she likes it is based mostly on the quality of the movie, and a bit of open-mindedness.

---

Right so, Ken Penders...

"amomentofarchiecomics" 's tumblr prepared me for that artwork, kind of *squint*

I know he wouldn't be in charge of the art direction, but based on his work in the comics, I wasn't a fan- to be honest, his later comics actually caused me to not bother reading them anymore for a long time (that and they weren't sending them to where I lived.) Eventually I found them online, got back into it (thanks to Ian) but...I cringed through most of that "middle sci-fi pender's fiasco". And I feel like it would be that all over again if he were to produce a movie...

Edited by Alejandra Fox

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