Director Tom Hooper finally comments on Cats trailer backlash
Last July, the first trailer for Universal Pictures’ upcoming Cats movie released and was met with many negative and confused reactions from a lot of people due to the peculiar fur visual effects of the film’s characters that was shown in the trailer. And now four months later, Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper has finally responded to the trailer backlash issue.
Speaking with Empire, Hooper revealed that he wasn’t disappointed with the huge reaction to the Cats trailer but was rather entertained by it.
“I was just so fascinated because I didn’t think it was controversial at all,” Hooper said. “So it was quite entertaining. Cats was apparently the number-one trending topic in the world, for a good few hours at least.”
He also stressed that the film’s visual effects that was seen in the trailer isn’t the final cut for the film and that the responses also had helped them with determining the changes of the final design. “We’d only finished shooting in March, so all the visual effects [in the trailer] were at quite an early stage, possibly there were, in the extremity in some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving [the production]. When you watch the finished film, you’ll see that some of the designs of the cats have moved on since then, and certainly our understanding of how to use the technology to make them work has gone up, too.”
The film stars Tony- and Emmy-winning actor and host James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors, The Late Late Show with James Corden), Academy Award-winning actress Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love), multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Jason Derulo, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba (HBO’s The Wire, BBC One’s Luther), Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Academy Award-nominated actor Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters), Emmy and ten-time Grammy-winning global music icon Taylor Swift, comedy superstar Rebel Wilson (the Pitch Perfect franchise) and introduces Francesca Hayward, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet.
Adapted for the screen by Hooper and Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), Cats is produced by Hooper and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, as well as Debra Hayward (Les Misérables), who brought the idea to Working Title. The film will be produced by Working Title Films in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group and executive produced by three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg, musical theater legend Lloyd Webber, Angela Morrison (Les Misérables) and Jo Burn (Annihilation).
One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, the London stage production of Cats received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981—where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show won the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983 the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and ran for an extraordinary 18 years.
Under the guidance of three-time Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton: An American Musical, In the Heights, Bandstand), who also choreographed the 2016 stage revival of Cats, the film cast features some of the most exceptional and inspiring professional dancers working today, including hip hop dance sensation Larry and Laurent Bourgeiois (aka Les Twins); former principal dancer for the New York City Ballet and Tony-nominated actor Robbie Fairchild (An American In Paris); former soloist of The Royal Ballet Eric Underwood; Mëtte Towley, a member of Pharrell Williams’ acclaimed dance troupe The Baes; Steven McRae, principal of The Royal Ballet; and thrilling, cutting-edge street, freestyle and contemporary dancers from Brazil, France, Philippines, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
The film is scheduled to hit the theaters on December 20.