Video game movies have long been seen as cursed, with adaptations usually turning out mediocre at best and terrible at worst. Yet something has shifted in the last few years, with films such as Detective Pikachu and Sonic The Hedgehog proving the formula can work, and studios snapping up adaptation deals at incredible rates. A feature by The Ringer has looked into the phenomenon, tapping a few industry experts to explain how and why the industry interest in games has grown so exponentially.
A few projects were singled out as turning points in the reputation of video game adaptations including Sonic The Hedgehog, the 2020 film which overcame a rough start to become one of the top performing video game movies ever.
Dmitri Johnson, who co-produced Sonic under his company dj2 Entertainment, was involved in the movie’s on-again-off-again production since 2012. He said that “everyone thought it was a joke,” during the early phases of production, but that attitudes changed following the film’s highly successful release. “Shortly after that, the incoming calls definitely increased from studios [and] networks saying, ‘Hey, whaddya got next?'”