On Thursday July 18, Universal Pictures released the very first movie trailer for their upcoming live-action musical of Cats, and while it’s set to the show’s iconic song, “Memories,” the film, even in its two-minute preview, drew mixed, most terrified reactions online.
The movie which has a star-studded cast of performers including Taylor Swift, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, and introduces newcomer Frencesca Hayward in the key role of Victoria, it’s quite hard to tell if the highly successful Broadway musical will translate on the big screen.
Either way, Cats is slated to premiere worldwide just before Christmas, on December 20. The musical movie will face tough competition at the box office that day. Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker is set to be released during the same prime holiday date.
In a teaser clip released earlier this week, director Tom Hooper lauded the movie’s use of “digital fur technology” to create “the most perfect covering of fur.” When the cats were revealed, however — an uncanny amalgamation of the actors’ human faces and a feline-adjacent body — social media users were less than convinced.
The Trailer’s Debut Drew Many Laughs and Horrified Reactions
While Andrew Lloyd’s Webber composed some of the most beautiful music for the Broadway show, the musical has never been heralded for its storyline, which is as meandering as a cat, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The official premise of the movie reads: “Over the course of a single night, a tribe of cats called the Jellicles make what is known as “the Jellicle choice” and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.”
The film version, directed by Tom Hooper, looks to be beautifully shot, but it’s quite awkward seeing feline bodies given the life-like CGI treatment, mixed in the real-life cats worn by much of the cast.
One Twitter user joked that the film might’ve been secretly directed by Terry Gilliam, writer and director of the infamous Monty Python films, while others took their tweets to firmly plant themselves as permanent dog lovers. Some viewers saw it as the sign of the apocalypse.
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