Gaming

Leaked ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Movie Cast Wish List Pairs Chris Pratt with Chris Pratt

A poster and cast wish list allegedly linked to the planned 2019 Sonic the Hedgehog appeared on YouTube Thursday.

In addition to a mock-up poster featuring Chris Pratt, Sonic and the tagline “Fast. Friends.,” YouTube Sonic fan outlet Tails’ Channel also released details about internal considerations for both the voice of Sonic and a police officer character named “Tom.” Both roles have since been cast, with James Marsden playing Tom Wachowski and Ben Schwartz voicing Sonic the Hedgehog, but the preliminary casting list offers some fascinating insights into an imaginatively impoverished creative process.

Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Paul Rudd, Jake Johnson, MIchael B. Jordan, Bill Hader, Jason Segal, Justin Timberlake, Adam Pally, Ansel Elgort and Milo Ventimiglia were considered for the role of Tom. Tom Holland, Josh Gad, Chris Pratt, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Will Forte, Jim Parsons, Charlie Day, Paul Rudd and Adam DeVine were earmarked for the voice of Sonic. There’s no indication that this casting document is anything more than a wishlist, so ignore headlines describing how so-and-so was “almost cast.”

There’s a few points it’s easy to note about this Sonic the Hedgehog cast list: a woman was not under consideration to partner with Sonic. Nor, it seems, were any racial minorities, with only Michael B. Jordan, one of the hottest actors on the planet, considered. The all-white brainstorm list for the voice of Sonic is doubly notable since the longest-running and best voice actor to portray the character in English is Jaleel White.

But more than another quantum of evidence to add to the massive case file labelled “Hollywood Must Be Dragged Kicking and Screaming Into Doing Anything Other Than Casting A White Chris In Everything,” the cast list for the Sonic movie demonstrates a weird blindness to the entire premise of the “Buddy Cop” duo advertised on the mock-up poster.

48 Hours paired a quick-talking Eddie Murphy with the gruff Nick Nolte. In Hot Fuzz, by-the-books Simon Pegg teams up with an ice-cream-licking layabout played by Nick Frost. Danny Glover is too old for this shit; Mel Gibson too crazy. Jackie Chan can fight, Chris Tucker can complain.

Chris Pratt as Sonic the Hedgehog must find common ground with… Chris Pratt the human. The casting list suggests a virtually identical character profile for both of the Sonic movie’s leads. You can almost hear the cigar-chomping studio head shouting “Bring me the men famous for being charming!” (That is, if it weren’t for Jim Parsons’ inclusion.)

It’s not really a bad list. Who doesn’t like Bill Hader, Paul Rudd and Charlie Day? It’s just the exact list you’d expect from an algorithm designed tasked with listing the most bankable smiles. There’s not an unexpected, oddball pick on there. Where’s Paul Giamatti or O’Shea Jackson Jr.? Werner Herzog just got cast in a Star Wars show, so what’s stopping Joe Pesci from voicing Sonic?

But hey, this is all rumor. And Marsden + Schwarz doesn’t sound like a bad combo, so the casting process may have worked out just fine. Even Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik doesn’t seem too bad. We’ll be able to judge for ourselves when Sonic the Hedgehog comes out in theaters November 8, 2019.

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