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How Would YOU Make a Sonic Movie?


Indigo Rush
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Very Very weird cancelled sonic movie staring...Keanu Reeves? :  r/SonicTheHedgehog

Sonic's a popular, character-driven franchise, and popular character-driven franchises tend to do well in video-games, comics, books, TV shows and films. Sonic the Hedgehog has had 2 major, somehow actual, successful theatrical releases as well as a direct to video anime movie. A lot of digital ink has been spilled on how we'd change certain aspects of them, but one thing I'd like the Sonic Stadium forums to do today is to start from scratch.

How would YOU make a Sonic movie?

Assuming money isn't an issue, assuming SEGA and whichever production and publishing companies have already given you the go-ahead to come up with an idea and assuming you had unlimited connections, how would you do it? Who would appear in the movie, what would the plot be, would it be just like the games, an adaptation of an existing subset of the franchise, or something completely original? This is the place to share ideas, give feedback and just have a fun discussion about the merits of Sonic as a film overall! 

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For me, I'd want to re-imagine the origin mythos of the main cast from the Modern branch of the series. In this make-believe and non-canon reality I just came up with, I'm going to presume the Modern series is completely separate from Classic, and that the original trilogy + CD is only applicable to the Classic branch. That means before Sonic Adventure, we don't know how Sonic and Tails met beyond a vague flashback, how Knuckles and Amy got roped into things, how long Sonic and Eggman have been fighting each other, Metal Sonic's creation, how much parallel there is between this timeline and the Classic one, etc.

Basically, an origin story for Modern Sonic assuming Classic and Modern are truly separate realities.

Medium: more detailed but game-accurate CG animation. Imagine the Sonic characters in the actual Sonic movie if their designs were closer to the games. No live action, so that means Eggman would also be CG.

Setting: Earth, as interpreted in Sonic Unleashed, but mainly focused on what we're going to call the "Islands of Mobius," spanning South, Westside and Angel Islands as well as some new ones?

Theme: Friendship. In this canon, Sonic is a loner. He doesn't want to be slowed down by anyone: his self-driven purpose is to explore the world and do whatever he likes. He's not a particularly altruistic person, but for some reason he finds himself unable to resist helping people in trouble and immediately running away before they have a chance to even thank him. This changes through a series of circumstances that has him befriending some life-long allies that shape him into the character we know and love today.

Plot: The major story beats I'd incorporate would be establishing Sonic and Eggman's conflict as a long-standing one, cover how Sonic, Amy, Knuckles and Tails meet in greater detail, the "Eggman tricks Knuckles into fighting Sonic" story and end with the takedown of the Death Egg.

Starting off with a short prologue with a montage of the events of the first Sonic game (with a Modern era flair) showing how Sonic and Eggman are enemies, Sonic's abilities and personality. At the end of the montage, Sonic has reached Eggman's base and sees that he has 7 multicolored gems plugged into a machine with schematics of a giant egg-shaped spaceship on a monitor: the Death Egg. Without thinking, Sonic dashes into it and ends up causing the emeralds to scatter across the ocean and lose their power, landing on several islands. A furious Eggman then dispatches his fancy E-Robo series badniks to pursue the emeralds to re-energize them while he continues work on the Death Egg, as well as another secret project.

This sets up the main inciting incident: collect and revive the Chaos Emeralds. As Sonic hops from island to island on his biplane, the Tornado, he meets Tails, a lonely fox who had gotten to one of the Emeralds first and has already done research and experiments on it. When Sonic learns that Tails is bullied often for his two tails and nerdy interests, he reluctantly agrees to let him tag along. On another island, they meet Amy, a hedgehog who was under attack by one of the E-Robo badniks and immediately takes a liking to Sonic after he rescues her. While Amy doesn't get the opportunity to tag along, she finds various ways of trailing after Sonic and Tails, getting herself in and out of jams and will end up helping the main duo often unbeknownst to them. The final island is a floating island: Angel Island, where Eggman has already "warned" the island's guardian, Knuckles, of Sonic's arrival. They fight until Amy, who had been unseen until this point, breaks up the fight and calms everyone down. Eggman uses the tension to steal the Chaos Emeralds they've collected and retreats to his now functional Death Egg.

This would be the lowest point in the film where "all is lost."

Knuckles then reveals that there's a special 8th Emerald called the "Master Emerald" that can nullify the Chaos Emeralds, but removing it from it's spot for too long would cause his island to fall to the surface, crashing into the ocean and causing mass chaos; they all have to be quick in stopping Eggman. After they arrive on the Death Egg with Master Emerald in tow, Eggman unleashes his secret weapon: Metal Sonic, who initially gets the better of the 4 heroes, kidnaps Amy as bait for Sonic and the two have a race to the core of the Death Egg. Meanwhile, Tails and Knuckles are left to find their own way to the core. At the core, we see the null Emeralds being charged in one of Eggman's machines, to no effect.

Here we have the final showdown between Sonic and Metal and Eggman's defacto giant Death Egg Robot, and Eggman reveals that he has captured his friends. If Sonic deals the final blow against Metal and the Death Egg, he'll send his friends into the cold vacuum of space. The theme of Sonic learning about friendship swells here and he surrenders, and is himself instead sent into space: except Eggman forgot that the Chaos Emeralds were with him. Sonic's sacrifice for his friends (positive feelings) is what gets the Chaos Emeralds to work again and Sonic transforms into Super Sonic to take on a Master Emerald energized Super Metal Sonic. Sonic narrowly defeats them and activates a form of Chaos Control that sends everyone back to Earth and uses his remaining energy to destroy the Death Egg with Eggman's fate unknown. The film ends with Sonic returning to Angel Island and reunites with his friends for a celebration, scatters the Emeralds and he, Amy and Tails fly off on the Tornado.

Post credits: Eggman and Metal crash into one of the ruined temples on Angel Island where he uncovers a stone tablet with an icon of Knuckles' tribe, as well as the Master Emerald... with a legendary creature hidden within...

Other fun things throughout the movie: You could have Big the Cat and Froggy making cameos in the background, have some of the islands resemble locations from other games like Knuckles Chaotix or Sonic 3D Blast, toss in references to the usual fun stuff like chili dogs, often quoted lines, other SEGA games and more, so long as it doesn't distract from the plot. It's about Sonic learning to trust people and how his acts of heroism inspire his friends to do great things themselves.

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And that's my contribution! I hope that inspires some of y'all to come up with your own ideas! Have fun!

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I think trying to adapt, even in miniature, basically the entire classic era is just too much for one movie. I mean movie 2 was 2 hours long, had fewer moving pieces, and still felt like it couldn't do all of them justice.

Having Sonic go from a loner to someone with friends he can trust is a good angle, though, it just needs to be reined in and focused. Drop Knuckles and probably Metal, for one; they're better suited to potential sequels, where more time can be devoted to Knuckles doing a heel-face turn and where the conflict and dynamic between Sonic and Eggman is firmly established to explain Metal's existence. Tails and Amy would be enough to work with for one movie. Cut most of the emeralds, probably just down to one, too; seven is a lot of magic rocks to juggle, and I think it'd be more interesting to play football with one primary macguffin. That'd mean no Super Sonic if we stick with traditional canon, but we could still cheat a bit and do some kind of sub-Super power boost with just the one if we wanted.

So. My long-standing position on Sonic is that he should be a bit more of a jerk than he's usually portrayed, and in an origin sort of movie where he can get some actual character development and grow into the character as we know him that slots in pretty well. So he's not just a nice heroic guy who happens to keep to himself, he's someone who's seen as a bit of a menace. Not malicious, but clearly not part of the community, he acts impulsively and selfishly and doesn't particularly care that he's making trouble for other people. But again not malicious, not evil, not completely uncaring; come up with some inciting incident for the conflict that's not entirely Sonic being a jerk (but don't absolve him entirely either). And establish that, deep down, he is a good person who doesn't want to see people get hurt, that he's capable of stepping up and being the hero. Have it be that he's saved someone's life before, probably.

And have it be Amy. That's her path into the story; she gets rescued by this mysterious dashing rogue, everyone says she should stay away from him, but she's convinced she knows the real Sonic. Easy path to getting a little obsessive, a little stalkery, but without quite hitting that sour note that we've gotten tired of. It's part crush, maybe, but also believing in him when nobody else does and wanting to see the real hero come out. You could also do this with Tails instead, but if you're going to have both, I think this works better for her than him.

Tails I'm less clear on, but my gut says, have him sort of be the audience viewpoint character. Have him be the one who comes in from outside, who gets all the above info dumped on him. And, conversely, he can be the one dumping information from outside; maybe he's fleeing Eggman and acts as the early warning that shit's going to go down,  maybe he knows about the emerald (maybe it's nearby and that's why Eggman's coming, maybe Tails has it and that's why he's coming? Hell maybe both, there might yet be a way to work the full set in if you're careful). And if you're really willing to bend away from traditional canon, you could probably have some significant history between Tails and Eggman. Former lab rat? Former lab assistant? Though at that point you're risking Tails being more central to the story than Sonic. Maybe you can tie Sonic into it if you go with the lab rat angle, but that's a pretty cliche superhero origin and not one that feels right for Sonic to me, probably wouldn't go with it.

Eggman is Eggman. No particular notes, the megalomaniacal mad scientist largely kinda writes itself. He wants the emerald(s) and he'll wreck shit to get them. Should probably have a little more going on, but nothing in particular comes to mind.

So you set up this tension between Sonic and the community, Tails shows up to warn everyone about Eggman/emeralds, he teams up with Amy to try to get ahold of Sonic since he's the only one who could help. Before they can find him Eggman shows up, Sonic chases him off because it's fun and he's not a total dick, Tails and Amy track Sonic down, Sonic tells them to fuck off because he does what he wants. Eggman comes back, Tails and Amy try to protect the emerald(s), Sonic eventually joins in. Tails and Amy help Sonic, Sonic gets the emerald(s) and goes subSuper or whatever and properly kicks Eggman's ass, he's a hero to the people, but now that he's out of his funk he wants to ride off into the sunset and have adventures elsewhere (Tails can come too. Amy can pay for her own plane ticket).

It's not complete, needs more work on the back end, something that brings Sonic's character more into focus, clarifies why he stays to himself, and figure out what actually kicks his ass into gear. Plus like a million other details, I'm sure. But I've run out of steam.

 

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