Sonic Prime Executive Producer and Star on Honoring the Franchise’s Past While Also Speeding Forward


The Multiverse is old news as the Shatterverse has officially arrived with Netflix’s Sonic Prime. This latest adventure takes Sonic and his friends to new worlds and tests them like never before, and we had a chance to speak to Sonic’s voice actor Deven Mack and series executive producer Logan McPherson about continuing the over 30-year-old video game canon story of Sonic, collaborating with Sega and Netflix, and taking risks while staying true to what makes the games so special.Â

We began our chat by asking Mack what he brought to the iconic role of Sonic and how he found the right way to approach the character who has been voiced by so many people over the years, including Roger Craig Smith and Ben Schwartz. In a similar way to how Sonic Prime pays homages to the Blue Blur’s history, so too did Mack when he chose the voice for him, one that was brand new but inspired by what came before.

“I just kind of tapped into everything that came before when it comes to the character’s legacy,” Mack said. “Going from Jaleel White, Jason Griffith, Roger Craig Smith, Ryan Drummond, and all the way to Ben Schwartz and even Jun’ichi [Kanemaru] on the Japanese side. So it’s kind of drawing a little bit of everything while also throwing in my own unique little spin dash where I can. So it all just kind of feels like Sonic at the end of the day instead of just one particular person that I’m zeroing in on and saying, ‘I’m doing that.’ It’s everything.”

Mack also spoke on the pressure of becoming Sonic, as the franchise has “some of the most passionate fans in the entire world, more passionate than any sports team I could think of, except for maybe the New York Yankees.” For him, however, it was all made better by the support from so many around him and that he only had to lend his voice to the project and he could let the animated character do the rest of the heavy lifting.

“It’s definitely been sort of intimidating for me in that regard initially, just being the really shy kid,” Mack said of taking on the role of Sonic. “I’m in voiceover instead of live-action because I don’t really like to be the focus of attention. So it’s definitely something that was unique for me. But again, I got such an amazing outpouring of love and support from so many people right from the get-go. And again, just all of my fears were alleviated very, very quickly just when I saw the response from so many people and I’m super, super grateful for that.”

Sonic Prime Had the Challenge of Speeding to Parts Unknown While Honoring the Legendary Franchise

Staying authentic to the legacy of Sonic was one of the top priorities of the team behind Sonic Prime, as this story continues the tale and mythology that began in 1991 when the original game was released on Sega Genesis. The recent movies starring Ben Schwartz are forging their own canon, but this Sonic is the same one you’ve played in the past and most recently in Sonic Frontiers. Staying true to the history of Sonic is important, but it was also just as important for McPherson and the team at Wild Brain Studios to tell their own story that tried its own things that sped beyond where no hedgehog had gone before.

“[Sonic Prime] ties directly into the mythology that has existed for all those years,” McPherson said. “So, it was really important for us to set up the story within that space and be faithful and authentic with the main character as the core cast, and then take it to new and unexpected and different realms and worlds. And that’s exactly what we did. And that opened up the flexibility to explore things in some new and innovative ways that have never been done before, without violating that history that’s been in place all this time.”

This new direction was a welcome surprise to Mack, who used his genuine feelings from reading the scripts to bring Sonic’s emotions to life on screen.

“I’d get these new scripts and I’d be like, ‘Whoa, hey, we’re going there. Okay, this is awesome,’ Mack shared. “And so it was very much a rollercoaster for me of genuine emotion and surprise, and to kind of put that real emotion into Sonic as he goes through that journey was something that was again, a very, very incredible, unique experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.”

It Took a Chao Village to Build Sonic Prime

Sega was a close collaborator throughout the whole process of developing Sonic Prime, and it was just as excited as the rest of the team to accurately represent Sonic’s history while exploring new avenues and taking fans to places they’ve “never seen before.”

“It’s a fine line between pleasing existing legacy fans and creating an experience for a whole new audience, both young and old,” McPherson said of the challenge put before them. “And that was really the goal – to elevate the narrative and to take these characters into serious jeopardy and wildly imaginative scenarios that stretch them and Sonic in particular to his limit.”

The Sega collaboration went even deeper, as the team at Wild Brain Studios took in-game models from the games and “adapted them for our pipeline, [while staying true] to the design and the geometry.”Â

“We’re trying to create a really rich cinematography, deep atmosphere, and rich world,” McPherson said. “So, we came up with a texturing treatment on the characters that we felt was vibrant and original and unique to our series and fit in with the worlds that we were creating at the same time. And there’s mood and tone and atmosphere and we wanted to really push the cinematography in ways that you’ve never really seen before with Sonic and create that atmosphere in this environment. So, it was taken a little bit of what Sega had in place and then adding some of what Wild Brain was bringing to the table in terms of filmmaking.”

To end our conversation, we asked the two about their history with Sonic. Mack admitted that he was a Nintendo kid growing up as you either “had one system or the other, and I had the other one.” However, it wasn’t long before he was introduced to Sonic Adventure 2: Battle on the Nintendo GameCube and his life was changed forever.

McPherson was also a Nintendo kid but remembers the first time he saw Sonic in action and thought, ‘I got to have that.” He cut lawns as a kid to save up enough money to purchase his own Sega Genesis and, if our Sonic Prime review is any indication, that was a very good decision, indeed.Â


Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for . You can follow him on TwitterÂ@AdamBankhurst and onÂTwitch.


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