Look, no one expected to be appalled by the sight of a beloved icon from their childhood, but that’s what happened when Paramount Pictures shared the first trailer for Jeff Fowler’s Sonic The Hedgehog. Instead of the round little fella we’d spent hours zooming around with via our gaming consoles, fans were presented with a lanky, toothy speedster covered in fur but with no real brow—just forehead for days. Ben Schwartz’s hedgehog alien voice telling us he had to “go fast” didn’t do much to offset the horror of what looked like Sonic after he’d been stretched out on a rack or some other torture device by Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey).
Our screams were maybe not the most constructive form of criticism, especially given the amount of work that had already gone into the film, but they were taken to heart by Fowler, who promised he’d find a way to make Sonic less unsettling. Just last week, the improved Sonic hit the runway, and the once-aghast public breathed a sigh of relief.
Now, for some fans, there’s no price too high for ensuring Sonic doesn’t become a creepypasta mainstay. But what did it actually cost to take Sonic from cousin of Guillermo del Toro’s Angel Of Death to reasonable facsimile of a mammal-like alien? Twitter users spitballed a $35 million figure based on... something, which would have been more than a third of the film’s $125 million budget. But Indiewire reports it took just $5 million to prevent future nightmares about a giant furball with teeth devouring us all. According to Indiewire’s source, who’s close to the production, the “VFX work on the film was far from completed by the time the decision was made to delay the film and redesign Sonic.” Since most of the VFX for Sonic hadn’t been completed, they were able to go back to the drawing board. The source also made it clear that “that any rumor alleging the redesign made the Sonic VFX team suffer is far from true,” which we hope is true.