That’s because in Japan, the film title puts everyone’s favorite badass red echidna frenemy front and center.
With the debut of Idris Elba’s Knuckles in the new Sonic movie sequel, many fans have been going absolutely bananas over the movie totally nailing the overall design and attitude of the character.
The fan acclaim over Knuckles’ look and tone is quite the redemption arc for the filmmakers, who were previously absolutely roasted for Sonic’s initial design in the first film. Back in 2019, the backlash was so great surrounding Sonic’s disturbingly human-like face and teeth with an initial trailer release that director Jim Fowler announced delaying the premiere to 2020 in order to fix the design.
Paramount Pictures Japan seemingly knows what’s up in terms of predicting that Knuckles will be audiences’ main draw to the upcoming film, as we have discovered that the full title for the Japanese version⏤with a little help from Google translate⏤is actually called Sonic the Movie / Sonic VS Knuckles, as prominently displayed on the official Twitter account for the film.
The release of the first Sonic movie was a cinematic milestone in terms of pulling off a fan-requested post-production CGI reworking of the uncanny and off-putting initial design of its main character. The no doubt financially risky⏤but pioneering⏤move by the studio seems to have paid off, as the movie raked in an impressive box office haul north of $300 million worldwide. The timing was perfect, too, since it came out immediately prior to the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders halted the entire movie industry globally. The first Sonic movie has since become one of the most acclaimed video game movie adaptations of all time for critics and fans alike (a low bar, we admit, but still impressive).
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 races into theaters on April 8, 2022.