Paramount Pictures is budgeting upwards of $7 million for a film shoot later this year that will set a computer-generated hedgehog with supersonic speed loose on the streets of Ladysmith.
The animation/live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie brings the video game icon created by Sega in the early ’90s to the big screen and is anticipated to be in theatres Nov. 19 of next year.
“We searched all over B.C. and have chosen Ladysmith as our hero town for our movie,” said Abraham Fraser, the location manager for the film.
Filming will take place starting in mid-September for somewhere in the range of eight to 11 days along First Avenue, between Roberts Street and Gatacre Street.
“For the majority of our filming we would require to close the block entirely … with the hopes of doing intermittent traffic control,” Fraser said, adding how there would be upwards of six days of shooting overnight.
It’s unclear what Ladysmith’s fictional town name will be in the movie or how the plot lands Sonic – a blue anthropormorphic hedgehog that can reach the speed of sound – on Ladysmith’s streets.
“I think it will really bring the town together,” said Fraser of the high-budget film.
The Vancouver Island North Film Commission is seeking community support from local governments and has worked with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to have scenes for the film shot on Highway 19 between Qualicum Beach and Courtenay in the fall.
Sonic the Hedgehog will be the feature film directorial debut for Jeff Fowler, who received an Oscar nod for best director in the best animated short film category in 2015 for Gopher Broke. He also did the visual effects for Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.
It was announced late last month that actor James Marsden would also join the cast. Marsden’s acting bio includes roles in the Golden Globe-nominated musical film Hairspray, Disney’s Enchanted where he starred alongside Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, as well as two X-Men films in which he played Scott Summers, aka Cyclops.
Starring alongside Marsden will be Tika Sumpter, who played Michelle Robinson in a romantic drama that recounts the first date between the former first lady and president Barack Obama.
Sumpter has also starred in the soap opera One Life to Live back in 2010, played the role of Raina Thorpe in Gossip Girl, or and was also in the musical drama Stomp the Yard: Homecoming.