Filming has wrapped on the Cats movie. Big screen musicals have arguably enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last five years, thanks to hits like La La Land, The Greatest Showman, and Mary Poppins Returns. Broadway musical adaptations haven't gone out of style recently either, with Into the Woods and Les Misérables having done big business at the box office in 2014 and 2012, respectively. As such, Universal and Working Title are joining forces to bring Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1981 smash hit show Cats to the big screen, with Les Mis director Tom Hooper calling the shots.
Much like Les Mis, Cats boasts a star-studded cast that includes Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, and Judi Dench in either lead or key supporting roles. The film's been in production since last December and is scheduled to arrive in time for this year's holiday winter rush in theaters. Marketing should be getting underway within the next few months too, now that shooting has officially wrapped.
Working Title posted an update to their official Twitter account today, confirming that Cats has finished production. You can check out their post and the accompanying photo in the space below.
Suffice it to say, there's a lot of interest (and more than a little trepidation) surrounding Cats at the moment. Hooper's Les Mis adaptation was a box office hit that took home three Oscars, but also divided the original stage musical's fanbase with its creative choices (in particular, Hooper's decision to shoot the movie in a visually grounded style and have his cast sing live). While it stands to reason that Hooper will take a different approach to bringing the fantastical world of Cats to life on the big screen, no one really knows what that approach will be. It doesn't help that Cats itself is a pretty strange beast, from its whimsical story (based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats poetry collection) to its equally unconventional show tunes.
More than anything, people seem equal parts anxious and nervous to find out what the Cats themselves will look like in Hooper's film. Universal and Working Title have announced they're using "astonishing new technology" to turn their actors into human-like cats, but that's a pretty vague description at best. The performers in the original stage show donned prosthetics and makeup to look more cat-like in the face, but many suspect the movie will use motion-capture to give its cast more feline-esque features. However the final results turn out (good, bad, a little of both), they will undoubtedly keep everyone talking about Cats until the first trailer arrives.
Source: Working Title
- Cats (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019