You probably remember when Sony Pictures had thousands of emails leaked last year following controversy over their movie The Interview. Despite Sony’s best efforts to pull the emails from the internet, once they were out there the damage was done. The emails revealed a ton of strange and fascinating behind-the-scenes information, from a Men In Black crossover with 21 Jump Street to silly salary disputes. Given Sony’s dealings with SEGA in regards to an upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie, it was only a matter of time before some emails related to the upcoming movie leaked out. One such email from Senior Vice President of Sony Pictures Releasing International, Noriaki “Dick” Sano, features a funny typo and some details about the upcoming film. Dick writes:
SONIC – THE HEDGE DOG
Hannah Minghella just called to give me an early heads up that a very popular video game for years from Sega game maker
named SONIC – THE HEDGE DOG will be made into a Live Action film.
Script is not yet completed but it would be financed 50-50 by SPE and Sega. Ms. Mie Ohnishi from Sega ( actually now called Sega/Sammy)
would be stationed to Burbank until the completion of the film. She will be coming to my office for a courtesy visit this afternoon,
so Hannah’s phone call was very timely and appreciated.
According to Hannah, the release date in the US would hopefully be in 2016.
I hope this would be another franchise like RESIDENT EVIL for our Japanese market.
Aside from the funny typo of “SONIC – THE HEDGE DOG”, we now know the film will be financed 50/50 by Sony Pictures Entertainment and SEGA. Also, SEGA’s Mie Ohnishi who serves as a Producer/Development Executive at Marza Animation Planet Inc. will be stationed in Burbank, CA working on the film with Sony. It is also noted that as of June 2014 a script was not written and the goal is to release the movie in 2016. Dick ends his email with hope that a Sonic movie would be a good fit for the Japanese market like Sony’s Resident Evil movies. Nobody show him Sonic‘s Japanese sales numbers!
After the break check out a few more SEGA related details from Sony that have surfaced.
The fact that Sony is producing both a Sonic movie and a Console Wars movie was not lost on upper management. Sony executive Hannah Minghella made note of the two films in an e-mail dated June 12th, 2014:
I have gone back and re-read the outline we bought in 2012. It is an 80 page outline about the competition between Sega and Nintendo featuring numerous consoles and games. The main characters of the proposal (as outlined in the “cast of characters” section are the executives at the two companies). Three quarters of the way through the outline the turning point for Sega was the creation of Sonic The Hedgehog. While I didn’t remember this as an element of the proposal (in part because it comes so late in the story) I still don’t see what the conflict is. One movie is a fictional children’s film and the other is a non-fiction behind the scenes look at these two iconic companies and the heated rivalry between the executives there. Sonic is part of the story but he’s not a “character” in Scott’s film – at least not from my read of the treatment. I do think Ange or I should have called Scott to let him know we were going to develop a Sonic film but I genuinely don’t understand why one impacts the other. I suppose now might not be the time to let him know Sony Animation is negotiating for the Mario rights from Nintendo…
It seems there was some concern over the two projects coexisting, but executives didn’t see an issue with a non-fiction movie about Sonic’s creation and a fictional movie starring Sonic. An interesting tidbit, assuming it wasn’t a joke, is that Sony Animation was negotiating for the rights to ‘Super Mario Bros‘ for a movie. Sony producing Mario and Sonic movies?!?
If you’d like to see all emails concerning SEGA, you can check out the WikiLeaks archive.Ad: