Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 1 April 2020

Watch: Key 'Sonic The Hedgehog' scenes were filmed in Abu Dhabi's Liwa desert

The zippy blue favourite was outpacing Doctor Robotnik's missiles deep in the UAE desert

Have you watched Sonic The Hedgehog? Remember when Sonic zipped across the desert surrounding the Egyptian pyramids as he outraced Doctor Robotnik’s missiles?

That scene was actually shot in the Liwa Desert. That’s right, the spiny blue favourite was kicking the sands in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi media hub twofour54 has revealed behind the scenes footage showing the crew of Sonic The Hedgehog working in the UAE capital.

The footage reveals that key parts of the comedy caper were shot in Abu Dhabi, with a 25-strong crew capturing footage of explosions in the Liwa Desert using helicopters and drones.

The final edit shows Sonic coming under fire from his nemesis Doctor Robotnik, and running at full speed through the desert – which doubled as the dunes surrounding Egypt’s pyramids and sphynx, but was actually in Abu Dhabi.

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Jim Carrey in a scene from "Sonic the Hedgehog ." (Paramount Pictures/Sega of America via AP)
Jim Carrey in a scene in the film. Paramount Pictures

The film hauled in more than $100 million (Dh367 million) when it was released in theatres worldwide on February 14, breaking the record for the highest opening of any video game movie adaptation in film history.

The Paramount Pictures flick is now gearing up for its digital release on Tuesday, March 31. The film will be available to rent and buy from a number of streaming stores, including iTunes and Prime Video Cinema. The latter lets users watch films that are fresh out the theatre or have skipped theatrical release now that cinemas have been shut in a bid to thwart the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The film stars James Marsden, Ben Schwartz – who voices the titular video game character – Tika Sumpter and Jim Carrey as the villainous Doctor Robotnik.

Sonic The Hedgehog joins more than 90 major productions, including other Hollywood hits such as Netflix’s 6 Underground, that have used Abu Dhabi as a filming location in recent years. In addition to assisting Paramount Pictures throughout the shoot in Abu Dhabi, twofour54 was involved with the production of the Sonic The Hedgehog movie premiere in Los Angeles.

“Abu Dhabi is used to hosting major productions, whether it’s Hollywood hits like the Mission: Impossible franchise or Bollywood blockbusters such as Tiger Zinda Hai,” Michael Garin, CEO of twofour54 Abu Dhabi, said in a statement.

“The fact that these productions choose Abu Dhabi as a filming location is a demonstration of the collaborative culture of Abu Dhabi.”

Updated: March 25, 2020 01:05 PM

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