The Cats Movie Adaptation Sounds Like a Big Damn Mess
This movie is shaping up to be tiny Avatar with songs.
Close your eyes. Now imagine a movie based on a bestselling Broadway musical, directed by Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) and starring Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, James Corden, and Rebel Wilson. With that level of talent both in front of and behind the camera this film, starring multiple Academy Award winners, sounds like it can’t fail.
Open your eyes. That movie is the big screen adaptation of Cats. And Taylor Swift is in it. So is Jason Derulo. Oh. Oh no. What is happening? And why is it happening now?
I mean, I get why. Cats is one of the most profitable musicals ever to hit the stage. So why not make a big budget musical to cash in on all those Catheads (are Cats fans called Catheads? They are now). Despite this all sounding pretty bad, the filmmakers revealed some new details for the film, which is set to release over Christmas break so everyone from your surly vaping nephew to your old timey racist grandma will be forced to endure the family fun.
Since the film’s announcement, we’ve been wondering what form the cats would take on the big screen. On stage the actors rock skintight body suits and furry wigs, but that look won’r play very well to modern audiences on screen. Also, there’s no way Idris Elba is going to don a lycra bodysuit for this movie (unfortunately for us).
Instead, the actors will be filmed with motion-capture technology, and then animated with CGI to make them more catlike. The film will also have the cats be cat-sized, with performers acting on a stage with over-sized furniture and set pieces. This is honestly shaping up to be a combination of Avatar and Honey I Shrunk the Kids but with songs.
In all the time I’ve thought about this film (and reader, I’ve thought about it a lot) it never occurred to me that the cats would be the size of cats. Does that make it better or worse? Are audiences craving a more realistic depiction of singing cats?
And apparently the actors are embracing their inner felines. Dame Judi Dench said of the process, “We spent a very long time observing cats or learning how to be a cat.” Some early rehearsal footage was shown at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, but has yet to be made public. Instead, we have the next best thing: Twitter responses to the news:
CATS (2019) dir. tom hooper pic.twitter.com/L9dGS3EteP
— karen han (@karenyhan) April 3, 2019
Me when I find out the cats in Tom Hooper’s cats are the size of actual cats. pic.twitter.com/deZ8BUwm73
— Louis Peitzman (@LouisPeitzman) April 3, 2019
America watching Tom Hooper’s CATS pic.twitter.com/dwvLXZc7un
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) April 3, 2019
Behind the scenes footage of CATS reveals all the sets are gigantic, filled with oversized furniture and doorways and whatnot. This sounds like I’m doing a bit but I swear to you I am not
— Scott Wampler™ @ CinemaCon (@ScottWamplerBMD) April 3, 2019
i saw the greatest minds of my generation consumed by behind-the-scenes footage of CATS
— sonia_saraiya (@soniasaraiya) April 3, 2019
The presentation ended with Jennifer Hudson singing “Memory” aka the only song anyone remembers from Cats. The song is fine, she’s an excellent singer, and this will likely be the highlight of the movie.
We’ll continue our coverage of Cats the movie as new information surfaces. Stay thirsty, Catheads!
(via Entertainment Weekly, image: screencap)
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