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.
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.
Team Swift and Die-Hard ‘Cats’ Fans Love it Regardless
By casting Taylor Swift in the film, producers knew that despite the movie being good or not, theaters will be filled on opening weekend. The same going for fans of the show that saw it twenty times on Broadway. Even for theatre lovers, Cats is a love or hate relationship.
However, the dancing in the film, will be top notch. Featuring performances by classical ballet stars Robert Fairchild, Eric Underwood, and Steven McRae, looks to be fantastic, and Hayward, a principle dancer from the Royal Ballet, looks to have the technical skill to deliver Andy Blackenbuehler’s choreography.