Sonic 2 is about to land in theaters in April 2022! In the meantime, AlloCiné has gone to meet its director, Jeff Fowler. The latter answered our questions after the publication of the first trailer for the second installment.
After the success of Sonic the first of the name, released in February 2020, director Jeff Fowler has stepped up for a second episode that promises to be even more explosive! On the occasion of the broadcast of the first trailer for the feature film, AlloCiné was able to speak with the filmmaker, still busy polishing his suite in the editing room. Release scheduled for April 6, 2022.
AlloCiné: Introduce us to this sequel with our favorite video game hedgehog: Sonic.
Jeff Fowler: What is certain is that it is a huge film compared to the first installment of Sonic’s adventures and much more explosive. We have new characters like Knuckles with the massive voice of Idris Elba and Tails with that of Colleen O’Shaughnessey.
And of course Jim Carrey is back with his evil take on Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Despite the epic side of the film, we kept the first frame of mind with the heartwarming character of Sonic and his relationship with Tom, played by the brilliant James Marsden.
Jim Carrey is hilarious, it’s hard not to get carried away by his wacky performance.
How to explain the success of the first part despite, at the beginning, the reluctance of the media and the fans?
I think we’ve been successful in creating a Sonic that speaks to audiences on an emotional level. People identify with him and support him on his incredible adventures. I think we also managed to make a nice mix between the action of the film and its playful humor. I think Jim Carrey is hilarious and it’s hard not to get carried away by his wacky performance. It was impossible not to bring back Jim who loves to play this role.
He brings so many fresh ideas to the table and shows so much creativity. It is a pleasure to have him by our side. I could almost do an entire movie just focused on him and his character of Dr. Robotnik! And then, look at this mustache, arguably the biggest in the history of cinema. Moreover, it is such an optimistic film and full of good feelings; these are qualities so sought after at the moment in a world in the midst of the Covid crisis.
Tell us about the new characters in Sonic 2.
At the end of the first installment, we introduced Tails, which therefore has a much bigger role in this film. Tails and Sonic, this iconic duo, will go on an explosive adventure together and they will have to face Knuckles. He’s really a badass character that gives this movie so much oomph.
fans of video games and films will be delighted by this new show.
His powers will give birth to action scenes like you’ve never seen. Suddenly this new villain becomes a real challenge to overcome for Sonic. I think video game and film fans will be overwhelmed by this new spectacle to see on the big screen!
Is it a challenge to keep Sonic players happy?
No because we keep the spirit of the video game in full and we introduce in this film the key and emblematic characters of the universe of Sonic gamers. I think in the first one, a lot of fans of the game were surprised to only see Sonic alone on screen, despite Tails’ final appearance. Here, they will be delighted to find all their heroes from the game.
Did you encounter any different challenges with this film?
The main challenge is to make a more massive sequel without losing the strength of the characters from the first film. It is therefore a delicate balance to put on a show without falling into free “bling bling”. We are not in a video game but in a film.
So you need a solid story with emotions and not a succession of explosions and unfounded action scenes. You have to be able to produce a film with a big heart and not just pure entertainment.
You have to be able to produce a film with a big heart and not just pure entertainment.
What is this second episode about, are there any themes in particular that you address?
It’s a bit of a movie about the maturity of Sonic who wants to be a hero. All teens encounter this when trying to figure out what they are made for. What is the meaning of life ? Somehow it’s a movie that shows that we all need a mentor, a guide in our life, that’s kind of what Sonic is looking for.
James in the movie says: “It’s not you who chooses your moment, it’s the moment that chooses you”. That’s kind of what sums up this film. In life you can’t always force your destiny and it is fate that chooses for you, that chooses us.
What does Sonic really represent to you? What is it the symbol of?
The joy of living ! Sonic is the symbol of all that life has to offer and joyful if you put yourself in the right frame of mind. It’s really important for me to have a film that motivates the audience, that reassures them, that shows them that there is always hope in life, despite the difficulties that can be encountered.
Sonic is the symbol of all that life has to offer and joyful if you put yourself in the right frame of mind.
Somehow, we all have a Sonic in us, that childish side, a little naive and so in love with life. Sonic is also the example of someone who tries to be a good person and to do good around him. I believe this is an important prospect in life. You have to know how to remain good and honest despite the blows that you receive.
Do you already have a sequel to The Adventures of Sonic and Tails in mind?
Even if we have a maximum of ideas within us, for the moment I prefer to focus on the finishing of this film then its release in 2022. I am still in post-production and I have a lot of work until the release in April. In any case, there are so many possible stories for our heroes that there is no lack of opportunities to continue this saga.
This world of Sonic has been around for over 30 years so you can imagine everything that we can create for the big screen or the small screen, in movies as in series. But let’s see what success we will meet with this film and then we will see for the next step.
Has the choice to make a half animated and half live-action film always been clear?
Yes, because we have the best of both worlds. With animation we can have a totally crazy visual show. And with the live-action we can have actors like Jim Carrey who give the whole thing such a strong and spicy dimension to the final product. It is therefore a mixture, a perfect union of the two cinematographic styles. Having real actors allows the film, this universe, to be more anchored in reality.
Interview by Didier Allouch in Los Angeles on December 10, 2021.