After months of anticipation, and a very public character redesign, Sonic the Hedgehog is finally set to hit theaters on Valentine’s Day.
The movie version of the classic Sega video game stars Jim Carrey and James Marsden, with Parks and Recreation star Ben Schwartz lending his voice to the titular blue hedgehog.
Schwartz, who has been attached to the project since before it had a studio behind it, told BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM on Friday that he’s pumped for fans to finally see the film in theaters.
“I’ve been waiting for this to come out for years — actual years — so I cannot wait,” he said.
The comic actor also opened up about the backlash the film suffered when its first trailer was met with derision and mockery last April.
Many fans felt Sonic 1.0 was way too lifelike and were not happy with the design of his legs, eyes, and humanlike teeth.
“The biggest thing for us — because if you remember that first trailer came out — was before that came out we had finished the movie, I was in the voiceover booth doing quite a bit of voiceover stuff,” Schwartz told BuzzFeed News. “We had no idea if anyone was even going to respond or care about the movie.”
“So the biggest thing we learned is there are a lot of people who are very passionate,” he said, “which is amazing because it feels like we have something special.”
The criticism became so rabid that director Jeff Fowler soon announced the release of the film would be delayed from November 2019 to February 2020 in order to redesign Sonic’s whole look.
When the new trailer premiered last year, there were many notable differences in Sonic’s appearance, and fans were mostly satisfied.
Schwartz said he’s proud that the powers that be decided to take the necessary steps to keep fans happy.
“I think it’s a testament to the director, it’s a testament to Paramount, how people went back in there and really made this thing,” he said.
“I think the way Sonic looks now is exactly how I saw Sonic in my head for the whole recording,” he added.
Now, Schwartz is just hoping fans are happy with the movie itself because both he and Jim Carrey want to do a sequel.
“The movie kinds of lends itself to the end where it could be a sequel,” he said.
“It’s such a crazy feeling where now it’s totally out of our hands,” he said. “It’s up to if fans see the film now.”