Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog movies have been hugely successful over the past few years, but Sega was initially nervous about letting them happen. Many video game adaptations failed to channel the core of the source material, a fact Sega was well aware of. In a new interview with the Japanese outlet pia (Translated by Everything about Nintendo), SEGA Sammy General Manager Toru Nakahara discussed the film’s origins and why the company agreed to collaborate with Paramount. Ultimately, Sega felt a Sonic movie was the perfect opportunity to introduce the character to younger audiences.
“We had discussions about making a Sonic movie because of Sonic Mania in 2017. Although Sonic wasn’t initially too popular in America, it seems to have grown in popularity quickly. At the time, Sonic was in a weird situation where parents knew who he was, while kids knew him or not,” Nakahara told Pia. “So it was easy to imagine that if a Sonic movie came out , this would be a great opportunity for Sonic not only to be known to many generations, but also in areas where Sonic may never have been well known, especially since the film‘s promotional budget far exceeds that of a video game. I thought it was worth participating to invest in creating a ‘Hollywood blockbuster’.”
Sega made a name for itself in the early 90s by taking big risks. When the company entered the console business, many predicted that Sega was doomed against Nintendo. However, the company charted its own course, emphasizing its differences from Nintendo in a series of highly successful advertisements. According to Nakahama, the decision to make a Sonic the Hedgehog movie was born out of a similar desire.
“It reminded me of the SEGA spirit of ‘trying new things,'” Nakahama said.
When sonic the hedgehog debuted in 2020, it proved a massive box office success and a sequel was released earlier this year. A third Sonic the Hedgehog is currently in development, and a Knuckles the Echidna series has also been announced for Paramount+. Just like in the early 90s, Sega’s willingness to try new things has clearly paid off!