In a brief statement to the Chronicle, production manager Abraham Fraser confirmed that Sonic 2 will not return to film on Vancouver Island.
Filming for the first Sonic movie occurred in Ladysmith and near Campbell River in 2018.
Ladysmith played the ‘hero town’ of Green Hills, Montana and was the site of a battle scene between Sonic and robotic drones operated by the evil Dr. Robotnik played by Jim Carey. A section of highway near Campbell River was temporarily closed to film a highway chase scene for the film.
Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone said that even though Sonic won’t be filming in Ladysmith, it’ll always be Sonic’s home town.
“Green Hills was the first stage of the first game. If they did follow the narrative I thought that there might not be a role for Ladysmith as Green Hills in the future. I feel we did a good job with Sonic. We’ll keep advocating for new opportunities in film and look forward to finding the productions and opportunities that fit with our town,” Stone said.
“I think we have a lot more to offer film that we haven’t even tapped yet.”
Joan Miller, film commissions for the Vancouver Island North Film Commission (INFilm) said that INFilm would have loved for Sonic to return to the Island, but respects Paramount’s decision.
“There are a lot of variables when production is looking at our region. They look to find locations that meet the creative needs of the entire storyline but also factor in the costs of bringing the majority of the crew from Vancouver. Travel, accommodation, per diem do factor into the decision which means in general we look to provide options for several key locations that they cannot find in the lower mainland to justify the costs of leaving the Vancouver studio zone,” she said.
Miller added that Ladysmith is a ‘gem’ among Vancouver Island filming locations and anticipates a bright future for the film industry on Vancouver Island.
Sonic director Jeff Fowler took to Twitter to announce that production on the second Sonic film began on March 15. The anticipated release date of the film is April 8, 2022.
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) March 16, 2021