This is another post that has been sat in my drafts for a while, me putting it in when I heard the inevitable news that the live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie was getting a sequel. Quite possibly the least surprising movie news I’ve heard all year. Like I said when I talked about the movie shortly after seeing it, the whole thing only really felt tangentially related to the franchise it was named after. So what piques my interest is what route this sequel might pursue.
Had you asked me the question a decade ago, what this movie would end up being. Without question I’d just say it would be more of the same, most likely with diminishing returns as a consequence, despite the inclusion of more characters from the Sonic franchise.
Now though, things are very different. Studios are much more willing to dive deep into weirder parts of a source material’s lore these days than they used to be. And there is a real possibility, if the writer and director push for it, that they could make the movie something much closer to the video game world than the very safe first movie ended up being.
As a part of this little proposition, I’ll pose a few ideas of what the studios allow a Sonic 2 movie to be, from the least interesting to the most ambitious and/or crazy ideas it could run with.
Least Interesting: More of the Same
It’s the same movie again, except Tails and possibly Knuckles is in it. Eggman escapes the Mushroom Hill Zone and returns to take revenge on Sonic and all of the humans who he feels betrayed him. He probably met Knuckles and tricked him into thinking Sonic is his enemy, thus they spend a lot of the movie having some kind of rivalry while Tails gets into shenanigans and acts as a exposition vector to explain both the worlds Sonic comes from and establish the Chaos Emeralds.
It’ll be mostly set in the real world with a few flirtations with the video game Sonic worlds where a slightly more mature Sonic becomes a hero the whole world comes to accept. Sonic needs to be more mature if Tails is going to be deferring to him and not the other way round. This probably ends up being the most likely outcome. One that feels like the safest option, and like I said before, there was nothing super adventurous about the plot of the first movie, so why do anything different for the sequel.
Like I said though, diminishing returns.
More interesting: Isekai it up
Tails shows to let Sonic know that a human scientist going by Eggman has created his own portal technology and is jumping between their world, enslaving the creatures and turning them into machines to further his eventual invasion plan for Earth.
Thus Sonic and his family; Tom and Maddie (followed by some other, marketable character) return to the world Sonic came from and spend most of the movie in this other world, one far more inspired by the look and design of the stages of the locations fans of the original 2D Sonic games are sure to recognise.
This would end up making the movie an almost entirely animated one, with a lot more CGI characters to keep track of with the human characters being the ones out of their depth now, reversing the roles between Tom and Sonic in the first movie. Again, Chaos Emeralds and Knuckles as a rival probably end up being a factor.
As Sonic fan, this seems like a more appealing idea to me, seeing all the locations and character designs from the video games realised in a live action movie, while telling much the same story as the previous one, just with a higher CGI effects budget.
Failing that we could get:
Reverse Isekai: Multiversal Furry Invasion
The general audience is cool with the concept of a multiverse these days, right? We’ve all seen Avengers: Endgame, audiences ate that shit up. This concept pretty much combines the ideas from both the previous proposals, but throw all of the recognisable characters from the video games into the real world where they could cause utter chaos.
That way, everyone could get their Big the Cat cameo, the degenerates could get their highly rendered Rogue the Bat and this is the fastest route to getting Shadow the Hedghog in the mix. Who is very much the Vegeta to Knuckles’s Piccolo in terms of rival dynamics.
How much faith does the studio have that the sequel can do the business that the first one did? If they feel like a larger franchise from this series isn’t super likely, they could use this movie to throw everything at the wall and give everyone very character they’ve ever wanted to see in a finale much akin to the aliens pouring out of the sky over New York in the first Avengers.
And Sonic making a self sacrifice play to seal the portal, just rip off Avengers is what I’m saying. While we’re on the topic of a multiverse though…
The Darkest Timeline: The Sega Cinematic Universe
This movie does any of the things above, with Sonic jumping through his rings between his furry bait world and the human world. Ultimately saving the day as a result and maybe getting the ability to jump between both worlds at his leisure. But all this toying with the fabric of reality has caused some damage, and in a post credits scene we see another, different portal open up.
Through that portal steps Gillius Thunderhead, Toejam & Earl, Alex Kidd and Sketch Turner ready to fight off a bunch of alien spaceships descending upon a city in front of them, and all shaped like Columns or something. Thus beings the Sega Cinematic Universe.
Should I be a little more serious for the ending? As much as I’d like to see the director throw a little weight behind the success of the first movie and get a little more adventurous with the Sonic sequel, whatever we do end up getting has safe bet written all over it. The first Sonic movie succeeded like it did because it was a very relatable and inoffensive kid’s movie. The fact that Sonic was in it was kind of incidental to that success outside of a marketing push.
I’m never going to be able to stop comparing the Sonic movie to Detective Pikachu, and that movie created an entire world populated with the animated creatures. That’s something I’d love to see happen with the Sonic sequel too, not that I’m super jazzed about it happening, but if it is happening, I’d like to see something that does pull a little more from the source material.
The Sonic movie was super okay/kinda good, and it would be a massive shame if a sequel couldn’t kick itself up a notch from just being another okay/kinda good movie. There’s no reason not to at this point, get weird with it, Lord only knows the Sonic fan base got weird with it a long time ago.