Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical makes the leap to the big screen in the trailer for Cats. The original stage show, of course, ushered in the era of "mega-musicals" and remains both one of the highest-grossing and longest-running Broadway titles ever since its debut in the early '80s. Inspired by T.S. Eilot's 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, its story revolves around a tribe of felines (the Jellicles) as they decide one night which of them will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new, better life.
Directed by Tom Hooper (Les Misérables) from a script that he wrote with Lee Hall (Rocketman), Cats the movie boasts an all-star cast led by Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, and Rebel Wilson. The film has already raised eyebrows for its use of motion-capture and large sets to make its actors look more like actual cats in terms of both appearance and their size. Now, rather than having to imagine how the final result will turn out, there's some proper footage to judge from.
After teasing its arrival earlier this week, Universal has released the official trailer for Cats online. You can check it out in the space below.
As one might expect, the Cats trailer is primarily focused on showcasing the digital effects used to bring the original musical's human-esque felines to life and the end result is... definitely something. Truth be told, though, the cats in Hooper's film are fairly similar to the characters in the original stage musical, as far as their general colors and designs are concerned. Problem is, where the characters in the Broadway show are clearly just actors dressed up in cat-suits and prosthetics, the cats in the movie seem to fall somewhere between stylized CGI creations and somewhat horrifyingly realistic human-cat hybrids. It's an effect that will undoubtedly take some time to get adjusted to... though, quite reasonably, some people probably never will.
Still, it will be interesting to see how this footage plays out with viewers who either love the original stage musical - and, in turn, are planning to see the film adaptation no matter what - or have never gotten to actually experience the whimsically weird world of Cats before now. Hooper's movie will certainly have some heavy competition at the box office this December (namely, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jumanji: The Next Level), but other musicals have managed to thrive over the crowded winter holidays in recent years (see: The Greatest Showman) and Cats may yet do the same. If nothing else, it's fair to say: truly, there will be nothing else quite like this showing in theaters over that frame.
Source: Universal Pictures
- Cats (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019