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'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie picks up speed at Sony

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Sonic the Hedgehog is strapping on his sneakers and heading to the big screen

Sonic the Hedgehog, the speedy, spiky blue video-game mascot, is headed from the console to the big screen. Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marza Animation Planet are developing a hybrid  computer-generated and live-action movie based on the $1-billion franchise, the companies announced Tuesday.

The movie will be written by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux, two Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre alumni who penned the 2011 Black List script "Chewie." It will follow the adventures of the irreverent rodent as well as his friends and enemies, including his nemesis Dr. Eggman.

Neal H. Moritz (the "Fast & Furious" film series, "21 Jump Street") will produce the film through his Original Film banner, along with Marza's Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi. A director has yet to be named.

The Sonic franchise, created by SEGA (Marza's parent company) in 1991 in an effort to counter Nintendo and its pixelated plumber Mario's domination of the console market, has sold more than 140 million games.

"There are limitless stories to tell with a character like Sonic the Hedgehog, and a built-in international fan base," Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures' president of production, said in a statement. "We're looking to capture everything that generations of fans know and love about Sonic while also growing his audience wider than ever before."

Marza Chief Executive Masanao Maeda added, "Sonic has had dozens of adventures on the console and the small screen, and we're thrilled that he's now coming to the big screen. Sony Pictures has had great success with hybrid animated and live-action features, and we're confident that this collaboration will bring a fresh take to Sonic, while still capturing everything that the fans love about him."

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