Cats getting a VFX upgrade after less than a week in release!
In a virtually unprecedented move, Universal Pictures has announced to theaters that the movie Cats will be getting a visual effects upgrade beginning this Sunday! In a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the studio informed theaters that the new version made at director Tom Hooper’s request will be available to download via satellite on Sunday. Those theaters with no access to the server will be provided with a new hard drive by Tuesday.
Of course this course correction for the much-maligned visual effects could be too little too late, as the film is expected to open to a disappointing $8 million (it was projected to go as high as $17 million), and has been clawed apart by critics with a 19% Rotten Tomatoes score.
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.