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Yes, Paramount Is Really Desperate Enough To Tackle That Live Action Sonic the Hedgehog Movie

A project that even Sony Pictures had the good sense to say “Ehhh…maybe not.”

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Man oh man, what a rough year it has been for Paramount Pictures. The last nine months have been plagued with bomb after bomb for them, from Ghost in the Shell in March, Baywatch in May, and mother! in September. Hell, even their “sure thing” for the year, Transformers: The Last Knight, underperformed big time, barely making $100 million domestically and tapping out at a paltry (for the franchise, at least) $650 million worldwide. And that’s their most “successful” movie of the year too!

Yes, Paramount is having a rough time of it lately, and like many other studios in Hollywood, are searching desperately for a big franchise to provide salvation for them. And in their desperation for a profitable IP, Paramount has turned to a property they don’t completely understand. Some studios aren’t looking for a franchise that is logical for a movie adaptation. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some studios…just want to see some money coming in.

So they turn to silly things like a live action Sonic the Hedgehog to try and make that happen.

Yes, the idea of a live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie has been bouncing around Hollywood for a few years now, first brought to the table in a serious way by Deadpool director Tim Miller. Miller enlisted the talents of his Blur Studios collaborator Jeff Fowler to direct the project, with Miller producing alongside Neal Moritz and his Original Film banner. You know, the production company behind such original films as Fast and the Furious 9, 22 Jump Street, and Goosebumps.

Anyways, the project first gained life over at Sony Pictures, a.k.a. the place you would expect such a desperate franchise bid to go. But with Sony’s fortune somewhat rising with the success of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Baby Driver, I guess the project now goes to the new underwhelming kid on the block: Paramount, who will try to make the live-action/CGI hybrid work.

So what exactly will the story be for this Sonic the Hedgehog movie? Ha, like anyone has thought that far ahead. Sure, the film has been written by Patrick Casey and Josh Miller (who wrote the National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze movies — yes, the original AND the sequel!), but I can’t imagine that it has anything even vaguely resembling a compelling plot. I mean the fucking game is about a fast hedgehog who runs through rings and fights a scientist shaped like an egg. There is NOTHING about the game that leads itself to a live action feature film, which probably means we’ll get something akin to the good ol’ “character from another world lands in ours, makes friends with some precocious kid, and goes through wacky fish-out-of-water hijinks” straight from the live-action/CGI hybrid template.

Which I guess makes Paramount’s acquiring of the film a little less nonsensical: the house that gave us Transformers will probably be very eager to get another one of those. Why not just get Michael Bay to direct it too? Lord knows the world has been waiting with baited breath for sexy upskirt shots of a barely legal Tails the Fox.


Also published on Medium.

Matthew Legarreta is the Editor and Owner of Freshly Popped Culture. A big ol’ ball of movie, TV, and video game loving flesh, Matthew has been writing about pop culture for nearly a decade. Matthew also loves writing about himself in the third person, because it makes him feel important (or something.)

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Nintendo Switch Sales Have Reached A New Milestone, But Just How Successful Is The Console So Far?

Compared to Nintendo’s last console, at the very least, the answer is…very.

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At this point in time, I have yet to purchase a Nintendo Switch…but, to be honest, I kind of want to. I’m having some major FOMO with Nintendo’s newest console, especially considering the rapturous response that both Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild received in the past year. I just feel incomplete as a gamer by not playing both games, what with Game of the Year Awards coming around, and both games seemingly taking every prize. There’s no other way to say it — not having a Nintendo Switch makes me feel like I am missing out on a big part of video games…which is the first time I can say that about something released by Nintendo in quite a while. And looking at these newly released Nintendo Switch sales numbers, I am far from the only one who probably has that opinion.

As revealed by Nintendo themselves, the Switch recently pushed over ten million total units in worldwide sales. That number was likely achieved through very strong Black Friday sales, which I can personally bear witness to — during my Black Friday shopping, I witnessed a whole lot of carts with Nintendo Switches (Switchii?) in them, with giant displays set up simply to supply for what seemed to be a heavy demand for the handheld/console combo. But even putting Black Friday aside, the Nintendo Switch has sold pretty well since its release in March…though it’s important to contextualize those numbers just a little bit.

Passing ten million units sold in 10 months is pretty good, but it’s not quite a record-breaking number or anything. In fact, the Nintendo Switch is only slightly ahead of where Microsoft was in sales of its Xbox One after a year of release, and those numbers were widely seen as a disappointment at the time. And both were outpaced by the initial sales of the Playstation 4, which passed the 10 million mark nine months into its release.

Still though, a lot of the conclusions made by the number crunching can mostly be viewed through the prism of expectation: the Playstation 4 was seen as a huge seller not just because it sold a bunch, but because it outpaced its predecessor by a substantial amount (don’t forget that, in the final days of the Playstation 3, it was dead last in terms of sales.) The Xbox One, comparatively, was seen as a sales disappointment, even though it still pushed an impressive amount of consoles…just not as many as the powerhouse that was the Xbox 360 did. And, returning to the Nintendo Switch, ANYTHING would have looked amazing to Nintendo coming off the complete failure of the Wii U, which only sold a staggeringly poor 13.5 million units TOTAL by the time it was discontinued in 2016. So the narrative becomes thus: the Playstation 4 is a massive success, the Nintendo Switch is a noteworthy success, and the Xbox One is a disappointing failure.

The reality? All of them are doing pretty damn good, really. Between the three none are really failures, and as consoles evolve to be more “iteration” based (with the likes of the Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X mudding up the works), the competition between them is probably going to became far less noteworthy as things go on. But, still, all three systems are healthy sellers which, for the sake of the industry, is probably for the best. After all, a little competition never killed anyone, right?

 


Also published on Medium.

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Games

Level Design Hall of Fame – Super Mario World

In this newest installment, Jared raises up Mario and crushes Sonic. Just…crushes him completely.

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If you are so inclined, the link for my channel (where you can find other videos in the series) is here. And you can follow me on Twitter here.

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Games

Level Design Hall of Fame: Fort Frolic

Where the best and brightest celebrate success!

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So I made this video a while after Mark Brown did his Game Maker’s Toolkit on Bioshock, and it must have been the same feeling when Telsa found out Edison got all the credit. Not that I came up with the idea first, or did it better, but it just showed how far off from perfection I really am. So I waited months to even bother posting it here, defeated, so just go watch his video — it is WAY better. I tried to be more personal in my analysis but honestly, it’s not quite the same as having a suave British accent. It’s just not.

If you are so inclined, the link for my channel (where you can find other videos in the series) is here. And you can follow me on Twitter here.

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