• George Morris

My Pitch for the 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Sequels

Dear Paramount/Sega,


You may have heard of me as the genius who put together a pitch for Shrek 5 which was so bombastic, so tenacious, so god-dang crazy that it scared the fat cats in suits down in Hollywood. Obviously this is all conjecture because they never got in contact personally, but it’s the only reasonable explanation as to why they ignored my calls/emails/threatening letters. Well today’s your lucky day, because I just so happen to have some thoughts regarding a second entry in your Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. But first, I ought to let you know my opinion on your first attempt at a big-screen adventure for the blue blur.


After that whole redesign debacle, I thought you did rather well. Ben Schwartz is a natural fit for Sonic and James Marsden can do the whole CGI-partner role in his sleep, not to mention you unearthed Jim Carrey’s gleeful villain side we haven’t seen since Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. The little nods to the videogames and character traits were nice too, and overall, the film was a good introduction to the character in order to acclimatise those unfamiliar with him.


My biggest problem however was with the narrative. Much like the majority of CGI buddy comedies in the early-mid 2000s, the film’s story was far too simplistic and lacked any real connection to the videogames at all. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t laid down good groundwork moving forward…


So without further ado…I hope you enjoy the following treatment and get back to me at george@gmorris.co.uk


Sonic the Hedgehog 2



We begin not long after the end credits sequence of the first film. Sonic’s home life with Tom and Maddie has finally given him a family unit he feels a part of. The town has accepted the blue blur as a kind of secret mascot; one who works alongside Tom with managing the upkeep of life in Green Hills, which has become somewhat of a tourist attraction after Crazy Carl went rogue and sold his story of the ‘blue devil’ to the press (and yesSanic himself is the front cover image, resulting in some bizarre advertising that can be spread throughout the background of the movie).


Everything seems as if it’s perfect. But something’s wrong. Whilst the adults throughout town accept him as a mascot, they won’t let their kids socialise with an alien creature. Whilst he definitely has friends in the town, when Tom and Maddie are at work he’s forced back into a sense of isolation because he’s different. One of the most surprising aspects of the first film was its ability to make Sonic likeable through his loneliness, and this logical next step sets up the sequel’s biggest draw. But first…


A distant maniacal cackling followed by the creaking of a flight suit and various beeps and boops. It’s nighttime, but it’s not our sky. Outside a menacing cave with blinking lights on the inside, a flicky bobs along the mushroom caps looking for food. It hops over to a sign that reads ‘gourmet meal this way!’ and follows to a lavish spread of otherworldly fruit. The flicky begins to eat until suddenly –

THWAP!


A rope trap snares it. The bird calls out for help but it’s useless. The thundering crashes from within the cave come to a stop, and its inhabitant steps out in the shadows.


Well well well…what do we have here, Agent Stone?” we know this voice. His goggles glare in the moonlight. The rock version of Agent Stone watches on from the cave, inanimate but now sporting a new haircut. “Looks like this little birdie’s going bye-bye.” He snatches the defenceless creature and takes it back to the lab, laughing as he does so, but not without stopping to congratulate Stone on his new hairdo. We don’t know what he’s planning…not yet.


Back at Green Hills Crazy Carl has returned as part of his book promo tour and has managed to turn the small town into a hectic nightmare for Tom. With such an influx of tourists him and Wade are working overtime. Whilst out investigating the places where he initially discovered the ‘blue devil’, Carl and a group of press/fans bare witness to a new, different creature, and chase it through the woods. It’s Miles ‘Tails’ Prower! He’s looking for Sonic but his scanner is having trouble locating him in Earth’s atmosphere. The group chase Tails high and low in a game of cat and mouse, resulting in him flying atop the roof of the police station to escape. At the end of the day, he overhears Tom talking over the phone to Maddie about Sonic, and Tails attempts to hijack Tom’s vehicle.

Just give me the controls to this vehicle, and nobody will get hurt.

You sound like you’re ten years old” Tom argues back.

I’m eight. But a mature eight.

Tails is flummoxed by Tom’s calmness at the situation, and the two get into the car to go meet up with Sonic. That is…until Tom fires a tranquiliser dart into Tails’ leg after they pull up outside.



Tails wakes up in a makeshift interview room (Sonic’s attic, but now with a lamp for dramatic effect) tied to a chair. Sonic, Tom and Maddie question his intentions and where he’s come from as he could possibly be a threat. Tails reveals that he’s been sent by Longclaw, Sonic’s protector, who he thought died ten years ago after being attacked by a tribe of Echidnas – an ancient race of beings destined to look after a Master Emerald that controls the mythical chaos emeralds which hold the secret to unlimited power. Sonic asks why the echidnas attacked him as a child, and Tails responds that Sonic’s power proved a threat to the safety of the emeralds if he chose to use it for evil.

Pfft, like I’d ever abuse my powers like that!

(Cue montage of Sonic abusing his powers for chilli dogs/ice cream/a laugh whenever he feels like it)

Tom and Maddie are hesitant to believe Tails’ story, and think it seems like something Doctor Robotnik would make up. Tails offers proof by offering to open up a portal to the floating Angel Island, an Aztec-like society where the echidna watch over their treasure. The group agree to go after Sonic tells them of how much he misses Longclaw, and they’re thrust into a completely different world.

The echidnas are initially weary of their presence, but soon accept them as guests and lead them to Longclaw. Sonic immediately embraces them, and Longclaw explains that there are seven chaos emeralds scattered across the seven worlds, each hidden and controlled by the Master that the echidna watch over. Over the evening the echidnas lower their guards and enjoy the company of their new guests…well, all except one echidna. A red master guardian by the name of Knuckles, who continues to believe Sonic’s a threat to the emerald’s safety and that this is all a ploy to achieve ultimate power. He converses with his fellow guard and daughter of the tribal Chief, Tikal, and the chemistry between the two suggests some form of companionship. She dismisses his ideas as paranoia however, and continues to teach Sonic and co. about their hatchery below the album, where their tribe nurses a species named Chao and keeps a watchful eye on them from above. The chao are childlike, with a psychic connection to the emeralds that allows them to let the echidnas know when trouble is afoot.

Back in Mushroom Hill, we finally see the full scope of Robotnik’s cave laboratory. Cages upon cages of animals locked away betwixt buzzing computers that can’t even run properly.

Agent Stone, caffeinate me!

He crudely swings by a coffee machine of his own creation (cheekily labelled his ‘mean bean machine’) as the waterfall that runs through the laboratory is unleashed. Droplets fall onto sporadically placed metallic sheets to create music that rejuvenates him as he forces himself to drink the black concoction he’s created (that definitely isn’t coffee). He’s celebrating because it’s time to test his greatest invention yet. The one that’ll get him home and make that blue hedgehog wish he’d never met someone with such a ridiculously high IQ.

It’s a conversion chamber, powered by hydroelectricity from the waterfall and the static charge from Sonic’s quill, and it’s ready for its first test subject. Robotnik looms over a cowering flicky and places it inside.

They say every man that tries to play God is doomed to fail. Good thing I’m not playing.” He pulls the switch and the charge begins. Robotnik’s laugh echoes through the cave as the flicky contorts and changes, the other helpless animals watch on in fear.

It’s alive Stone! It’s aliiiiiive!

A metallic flutter is heard, and the shadow of a robot wasp is seen against the wall of the cave!

“My babies are back, baby!”

During their stay on Angel Island, Maddie and Tom bond with the guardians of the crystal. Tom is handed a staff and encouraged to join them in combat training, to which he continuously loses against the echidnas’ pronged, shatter-proof knuckles. Outside as Longclaw rests, Sonic and Tails bond on the guardian grounds, giving Sonic the feeling of friendship he’s been missing for so long. Tails shows him his laboratory, including a makeshift plane and scanner equipment he used to track Sonic down. He’s quite the tinkerer. But of course, it can’t last…

Whilst observing the Chao hatchery the creatures begin to glow and vibrate – a sign of danger for the crystals. Back in Mushroom Hill, Robotnik’s growing army of robot animals have begun to fight amongst themselves and have blew a giant hole in the cave, one that’s revealed the location of one of the hidden chaos emeralds deep within the rock.



The emerald guards sweep into action and prepare a ring portal to the mushroom planet. Sonic and Tails offer to join them but Knuckles refuses them entry. Tikal bids Knuckles farewell, and they set off on a recon mission. But it’s a disaster. The trio of guards are ambushed by Robotnik’s machines after splitting up. Knuckles breaks free from the pack and finds his way into the cave lair, finding a shrine filled with crudely-drawn images of Sonic (yes, more memes) by Robotnik. Knuckles catches the mad scientist and Agent Stone in the act, and accuses them of working with the hedgehog.

“You…know this monstrosity?” Eggman concocts a plan on the spot. “Why, I’ve been on a mission to protect this…precious stone…from his nefarious clutches!”

“I knew he was after the seven Chaos Emeralds!” Knuckles chants.

“Yes! Seven! Seven of them! And he wants them all for himself for…”

“The power they contain…”

“Those were Sonic’s exact words! Where is he? Has he brainwashed you into companionship? Have you met his…handler…Officer Wachowski?”

Knuckles’ prejudice against the newcomer makes him oblivious to Robotnik’s lies. He’s blissfully unaware that his comrades have fallen to the scientist’s growing army of robots. Together they hatch a plan to lure Sonic to the mushroom planet and ambush him with wave after wave of ruthless robots ripped from the videogames. For the cause Knuckles grants Robotnik the use of the Chaos Emerald to enhance his minions’ strength.

Later on, Knuckles returns alone to Angel Island, spewing tales of danger and that the culprit cannot be caught because echidnas are not fast enough. Sonic overhears and offers help, of course. He and Knuckles head off through the portal, but not before one of Robotnik’s minions can find their way to the temple as a spy.

Upon entering the cave, Robotnik reveals himself to Sonic and unleashes a barrage of metallic monstrosities upon him. Sonic is held down by several of them, and amidst the chaos here’s calls for help from within the machines – the animals Robotnik’s controlling are still alive inside. It’s a moment of sobering horror as Sonic breaks out and attempts to flee, but Knuckles is in hot pursuit.

On Angel Island, Robotnik’s spy sneaks into the echidnas’ vault and procures a teleportation ring, ready for its master to travel through, though Tails is the only one to notice and investigates. Sonic and Knuckles face off against one another in the mushroom world on a cliff edge. Every punch from the echidna chips off shards of whatever he hits, but the hedgehog is too fast. He spins into him again and again, but one fist connects and flings our hero back and knocking the wind out of him.

“You don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t trust that Eggman!”

“Funny. He said the same thing about you…”

CRASH!

A booming sound from back in the caves. Knuckles puts the safety of the emerald before his hatred of the hedgehog and heads back to the cave, only to find Robotnik and his cronies launching an assault on his home!

“What are you doing?!” he shouts.

“I’m sorry my fisted friend. But your predicament was unavoidable the moment we met. Believe me it’s rare that I say this but you’ve taught me so much…it’s just a shame you weren’t smart enough to use all this knowledge…”

The doctor reveals the glistening chaos emerald as he jams it into the centre of his newest glider, and transports through the portal amongst his army. Knuckles tries to run through but it dissipates before him, leaving him with nothing but a glimmer of the destruction to his home (just like baby Sonic in the first film’s opening). Knuckles’ bravado and anger issues take hold and he attempts to break through the walls of the cave, as if that would help. He screams, with fist after fist taking chunks out of the wall until he has no more energy.

“You ever thought about anger management classes?” the hedgehog says from behind.

Angel Island is under attack. Tom and Maddie are handed staffs to help the pushback against the flurry of robots. But there’s too many. Longclaw heads down to the hatchery in order to provide protection for the Chao, whilst Tails attaches a tracker to the Master Emerald. The echidna guards are overthrown, Tikal is kidnapped by Robotnik as he forces her to lead him to the Master Emerald, but not before running into an old friend.

“Well well well…if it isn’t the man I’ve punched in the face…twice” Tom gloats.

“Physical violence is the crutch of the imbecile, you know that right?”

“Well what do you call this?” he gestures to the chaos around them.

“…I’m not the one doing that. I just created the pawns to do it for me. They’re my new children you see. And oh yes, they’re going to get much more powerful…”

“Where’s Sonic?” Tom runs towards him with his staff primed. Robotnik screams and jolts backwards, launching a rock at him as he runs away.

“Agent Stone, detain Officer Wachowski!”

In the now-empty caves on Mushroom Hill, Sonic and Knuckles have an award heart to heart. Knuckles explains that he’s always been a respected guard because he was the best, it was the only thing he could do well – and because of that every threat needed to be taken seriously. His tone has tinges of regret. He thinks of Tikal, who he’s ignored in favour of his job. Sonic tells him he can handle multiple roles at once, and that he’d like to find a way back to Tom, Maddie and Tails. He could use another friend on that list if Knuckles would be up for it. The two shake hands and begin to search through Robotnik’s leftovers.

On Angel Island the disaster continues. Robot minions break into the hatchery and are fought off by a weakening Longclaw. Maddie offers assistance and guides the orphans into shelter. Tails hides off in the hidden temple with the Master Emerald, gauging its power and analysing it with his tech equipment. Robotnik is chased vehemently by Tom through the grounds as the doctor hides behind various pillars and minions. He orders a wave to fight back and bombard Tom, pinning him against the wall.

“I don’t usually partake in neanderthalic practices but…oh what the hell. I’ve earned it.”

Robotnik SOCKS Tom right in the face but his hand pulls back sharp.

“Owie! What are you, all bone?! To be honest that would explain a lot…”

Robotnik makes Tom watch as he infiltrates the hidden temple abord his glider. Tails hides in the shadows. His glider releases a huge claw and plucks the Master Emerald from its base, causing the entire temple to rumble and fall. Everyone sprints to escape the wreckage, but it’s too fast.

After what seems like an eternity, Sonic and Knuckles are at a loss. They could be trapped on Mushroom Hill forever. But there’s a rumbling at the opening of the cave. It’s a Flicky! Multiple critters accompanied by the other two echidna guards! They broke free and disabled the chips in the robots’ necks, causing them to shed their metallic skin and revert back to normal. Knuckles tells them they have to return home, and the two still have their ring portals. They open them up and head through, preparing for war.

But what they find is a prison. What echidna are left are locked up alongside Tom and Maddie. Longclaw is close to death, struggling for energy. Tails has been hiding out after flying from the wreckage, and discovers the four of them. He says Eggman has taken the Master Emerald and is preparing to go after the other 6 Chaos Emeralds in order to achieve their power. The four of them stage a tense prison breakout, avoiding the metallic minions and disarming as many as possible whilst freeing the echidna amongst the rubble of the temple. Sonic and Knuckles break into the cage with Tom, Maddie and Longclaw and the hedgehog and his protector share his final moments together as he passes away from his wounds.

Robotnik is making his way through the dense rainforests of the island with Tikal as his guide with the map to the other Chaos Emeralds. Knuckles almost decides to go solo in order to save her.

“Just because you’re red doesn’t mean you need to be a hot head” Sonic quips. Oh that Sonic.

Tails says he can dismantle Robotnik’s close robot guards with an EMP blast using equipment from his lab, so they sneak inside and form a large-scale attack on the rest of the army, careful not to destroy the robots and merely to free the creatures inside.

The echidnas begin to rebuild their temple, and Tom and Maddie volunteer to stay back and help whilst Sonic, Tails and Knuckles go after Eggman. They rush off into the dense forest and high up into the mountains, where Tikal has lead him to the Island’s Chaos Emerald. Tails distracts Robotnik initially as a decoy by flying in his periphery whilst Sonic and Knuckles work their way to Tikal. But it’s not that easy. Robotnik recognises that blue blur anywhere and his glider harnesses the power of the one Chaos Emerald to form a wrecking ball that demolishes acres of trees as he glides to the mountaintop, dragging Tikal with him.


The Sonic Heroes use Sonic as a slipstream to catch up with him, and Tails lifts Knuckles up to crack the interface on Eggman’s glider. Robotnik summons his legion of children, but they’ve all reverted to their critter forms.

“Traitors! This is what you get when you use synthetic life forms as the basis for your army of robots! A conscience just gets in the way!”

He charges the wrecking ball again and tries to squish the hedgehog, plummeting the ball into the mountain and embedded a crack that hollows down, down, down…down too far. A rumbling is heard.

“I…don’t think this is a mountain…” Tails cries. And he’s right!

The ground quakes and shifts as plates are separated by spurting hot red magma!

“Now this is heavy!” Eggman boasts.

Sonic spin dashes into the glider to knock it loose like in the first film, but Robotnik is ready for that. He uses the emerald to create a forcefield around him, making the hedgehog bounce back, almost into the magma.

“We need something strong to break through the bubble!” Sonic calls.

“Leave it to me!” Knuckle cheers.

Sonic grips Knuckles tight and spins him round at terminal speed, letting him soar through the air with his fists out straight into Robotnik’s ship. Tikal falls from the glider on impact, heading straight for the magma but is caught by Tails at the last second and flown to safety. Agent Stone slips from the glider’s dash and falls into the magma.

“Agent Stone! No! No don’t leave me!” Robotnik pleads for his fallen companion but it’s too late.

In a fit of fury Robotnik steers the glider straight towards Sonic, attempting to push him to his death. Knuckles pushes back alongside his new friend, whilst above Tails loosens boulders and throws them downwards creating a waterfall of magma that spins Robotnik out of control.

“Sonic! You go for the Eggman, I’ll grab the emeralds!” Knuckles calls out.

“I am not an Eggman! I am a genius!”

Sonic charges his dash after pushing Robotnik against a waterfall of magma. He spins straight through the centre of the glider, short-circuiting it and releasing the emeralds that Knuckles jumps out and grabs. As the glider falls to the magma and begins to sink, Sonic reaches out and grabs Robotnik from the wreckage, but Knuckles knocks him out before he has a chance to talk even more.

Back at the temple rubble the echidnas are reunited. Knuckles finally tells Tikal how he feels and the two embrace. The Master Emerald is placed back in its rightful home and Knuckles charges Sonic with the protection of the Chaos Emerald on Earth. Tom and Maddie prepare to head back to Green Hills but Sonic isn’t sure if he wants to leave. Tails is the same, both of them have found friendship across the adventure, but Tom thinks he knows a way to solve that…

Later on Earth, Robotnik is placed under arrest in a secret bunker underneath the Pentagon, and Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Tom and Maddie are given appraisal from the US government in the form of…a videogame console. It’ll go perfect in Sonic & Tails’ loft room, which now features a cool-as-hell bunkbed. Sonic’s old cave hideout is now Tail’s new laboratory, where he can work in secret after covering it with a hologram system to keep Crazy Carl and other tourists out. Knuckles and Tikal watch over the rebuild of their temple in peace, knowing that if anybody else threatens the emeralds they’ll be ready to call in for backup. Sonic and Tails are playing Crazy Taxi in their room when Maddie screams downstairs. The two of them rush into action preparing for the worst, but instead she’s staring at Tom who’s passed out on the floor.

“What is it? What’s happened?” Sonic asks.

Maddie holds out a pregnancy test. It’s positive.

CREDITS.

But of course there’s an end-credits sequence. Down in the dark corridors of the Pentagon’s basement, Robotnik’s delusional ramblings can be heard from his cell. His walls are filled with drawings in chalk done by his feet (he’s in a straight jacket), and he’s drawn verbatim the map of all seven Chaos Emeralds.

“This is it Agent Stone…this is my calling. The big kahuna. The one I’ve been waiting for.”

He’s talking to a drawing of Agent Stone (the rock) with angel wings and a halo.

“…Sir? Is…is that you?”

Robotnik rises like a phoenix from the ashes. No, it couldn’t be…

One of the basement employees it’s…it’s…the real Agent Stone. Robotnik laughs even more maniacally than before, building a plan in his mind to not only escape his prison, but to become the most powerful being in existence.

Now, obviously this is just a quick story pitch. There’s still so much work that would need to be done in order to make this work. The intricacies of character interactions and ensuring emotional story beats are hit are a primary concern, alongside allowing enough moments for action and comedy to be entertaining for audiences. But hey, this is just my idea.

Now, if a third film is on the cards I also have some small thoughts, obviously it’s far in the future but here’s what I’ve got so far.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3


- Big, universe-trotting adventure film as Sonic and co. race against Robotnik to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds.

- Robotnik takes over the Pentagon with the help of Agent Stone and uses the army’s resources to build the Egg-Carrier. A giant, country-sized machine that blocks out the sun and is capable of immense destructive power.

- Agent Stone mutinies against the crazed Robotnik, but in his mental state he transforms Stone into a robot sidekick along the lines of Scratch and Grounder from the TV show.

- Robotnik’s obsession with robots goes to new levels when he uses power from the Chaos Emerald’s he’s collected to craft Metal Sonic. I’d love to include the time-travel element from Sonic CD but I feel as though it’d need a film in itself.

- No further Sonic Universe characters are introduced, though they’re hinted at. Maybe Shadow.

- The finale would obviously involve Sonic harnessing the power of the emeralds to become Super Sonic in the most fan-pleasing sequence ever (got to be in space, too).

Again Paramount, I am available for hire as a screenwriter/consultant for the Sonic series. You won't even have to supply me lunch, as I can bring in my own sandwiches every single day.

I look forward to hearing from you at george@gmorris.co.uk


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Yours sincerely,

George Morris.


P.S. Gotta' go fast.


-


I know it may seem ridiculous constantly shifting from whatever lunacy I'm writing about each week to serious topics at the end, but it's important never to forget what's going on in the world. Whether it's the blazes that continue to ruin not only America but Paraguay and Argentina too which made every person under the sun make a Blade Runner 2049 reference instead of being worried, or the continuous rising COVID-19 cases once again, it's difficult to keep up to date on a lot of issues.


The news is selective, and so much of what's going on isn't reported to the masses. The violence of the secret police continues in Portland, the Black Lives Matter movement, despite going strong, still hasn't received justice for the atrocious murders of so many innocent lives. The area impacted by the explosion in Beirut has experienced further damage from unexplained fires. These things make a difference when you're looking for a cause to help.


That's why it's important to take just 10 minutes out of your day to keep up to date. You can do it whilst you're on the toilet, nobody will know.


Aside from Googling things, here's a carrd that's updated regularly. On it are hundreds of resources to charities and pieces of information on a whole load of news stories currently going on in the world. Spend 10 minutes. It's just 10 minutes.

https://the2020world.carrd.co/

Aside from that here is a link that allows you to help and donate to various causes (you can choose) by just watching adverts. So disable that AdBlocker and put your time to good use.

https://arab.org/


Thank you for reading.

Stay safe everyone.

See you next week.