Iconic video game hero Sonic the Hedgehog is heading to Hollywood after studio Sony announced plans for a big screen outing based on the nippy Sega mascot.
Producers have told The Hollywood Reporter the proposed movie has a ready-made audience, as 140m games featuring Sonic, a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog with the ability to move at supersonic speeds, have been sold in the past two decades. They are planning a hybrid computer-animated/live-action film in association with Sega-owned Japanese production company Marza Animation Planet.
"There are limitless stories to tell with a character like Sonic the Hedgehog and a built-in international fan base," said Hannah Minghella of Sony-owned Columbia Pictures. "Along with our wonderful creative partners at Marza, we're looking to capture everything that generations of fans know and love about Sonic while also growing his audience wider than ever before."
Sonic began life in 1991 with the aim of finding a character to compete with Nintendo's popular Mario series of games. As well as numerous video games he has featured in his own comics and animated TV shows. Sega has continued to produce Sonic games for other consoles even though it has not manufactured its own machines since 2001.
Sonic rivals the Mario brothers, Pokemon and Tomb Raider have all previously hit the big screen, with varying degrees of success. Source Code's Duncan Jones is directing a big budget fantasy film based on the World of Warcraft series and there is even an Angry Birds movie in development for release in 2016.
The Sonic the Hedgehog film will be written by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux and is being produced by Neil Moritz (22 Jump Street).