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Sonic the Hedgehog film to be produced by Deadpool director Tim Miller

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From R-rated Deadpool to family-friendly Sonic

Ryan Reynolds, Tim Miller, Ed Skrein - Deadpool press event photo
Ryan Reynolds, director Tim Miller and Ed Skrein seen at Deadpool Blu-ray and DVD press event on Monday, April 11, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California.
Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP Images

Sony Pictures has hired Deadpool director Tim Miller to serve as an executive producer on the company’s upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Miller will partner with Jeff Fowler on the project; it would be Fowler’s directorial debut. The two have worked together at visual effects and animation house Blur Studio, which Miller co-founded, for more than a decade. They teamed up on “Gopher Broke,” a 2004 short film from Blur that was nominated for an Academy Award; Fowler wrote and directed, while Miller produced.

“Jeff is an incredible director with strong story instincts,” said Miller of Fowler, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “The world of Sonic presents the perfect opportunity for him to leverage his experience in animation to bring new dimension to this iconic character.”

Sega Sammy Holdings — parent company of Sonic the Hedgehog creator Sega — announced in February that it was working with Sony Pictures on a feature-length Sonic movie. The project is set to be a family-oriented film that mixes live action and computer-generated animation; it is scheduled to hit theaters in 2018. The movie’s script is being written by Josh Miller and Patrick Casey. Miller created the Fox animated series Golan the Insatiable, while Casey is a writer on the show.

Deadpool, Miller’s directorial debut, was a massive success for Fox at the box office this past winter. The film pulled in $783.7 million at the worldwide box office, including $132.75 million during its opening weekend — the best debut ever for an R-rated film. Fox quickly greenlit a sequel and Miller was attached to direct. However, as Deadline reported earlier this month, he hadn’t officially signed on to the project, and he has since left the film as a result of creative differences.