New update. Post 1:
Before Things Get Out Of Hand...
... please remember that while the fan base is being listened and catered to, if you were to take a vote, you'd discover the results would reveal constituencies for every version of Sonic as far as which one should be featured in the proposed animated film. It is with that in mind that a specific story arc was developed that enabled us to explain who and what Sonic and Knuckles was to a general audience while facing a threat posed by Robotnik that was worthy of a film treatment. By developing the threat, deciding how big the stakes were, and what the resolution would be was how it was decided which characters would be pivotal to the overall arc.
Think of the X-Men movie. There were a vast number of characters that were either hinted at, briefly seen or no mention was made altogether. Why? There has to be something for the sequels. If someone's favorite character doesn't make the cut this time, they have to be optimistic that their character will eventually show up. By my game plan, Shadow and Rouge wouldn't make it until the third or fourth film, as the second would probably lean more towards Sonic interacting with Knuckles against Enerjak.
Because I had to do some initial rewriting - and there will be much more to do in the days ahead - I can at least quell some fears that even if they don't have major parts, characters like Amy Rose, Rotor and Antoine will be seen in the film as the story requires a number of characters at least being seen as the Swatbots round up the citizenry for roboticization. (And no, none of the three mentioned undergo the process. I don't need unnecessary rumors flying wild on the internet, thank you.)
I'll probably do an online chat once all the details are nailed down by all involved parties. For the moment, all I can say is that this is being approached in a very serious manner by all parties concerned, and that the intent is to do a first class film. The producer involved is a major player in animation having been in the business for over 20 years with several Emmys to his name. Anything he's worked on has exhibited his respect for the source material. He's interested in doing something that's action-packed with plenty of heart. The two films he keeps citing as examples of what we want to shoot for are Monsters Inc and Lilo & Stitch.
As far as the budget goes, he knows how to stretch a buck and get the most for his money. Furthermore, the budget for the film doesn't have to be concerned with paying off Michael Eisner's stock options or bonuses for Disney executives, a main reason why Treasure Planet's budget soared north of $100 million.
The process is only beginning, so please have faith.
If I am true to the spirit and intent of the characters along the lines of what most fans expect, the film will be a success. Note I do not include ALL fans, because trying to please everyone is not going to be possible. For example, there are those who are going to want this be done in an anime style, and they're bound to be disappointed because that's just not going to happen with this project. Likewise, a number of voice actors who worked on previous incarnations more than likely will not end up working on this project either, for various reasons.
I will listen to what everyone has to say, but in the end, the producer and I will have to bite the bullet and make the tough decisions, otherwise the project will never get done. Already I can think of at least two items that are going to be controversial within fandom, but those two story points are a key part of what provides the emotional drama, and allow us to present Sonic with a wider range of emotions than many feel has been shown in the comic.
Source: Ken's Comic Book Stories & Art