It might be going up against Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but Cats might just have a similar must-watch factor – for very different reasons.
The first trailer arrived back in July and revealed just how the cats would be visualised in the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical, leading to numerous memes and gags online.
It might not have been the marketing campaign that Universal expected for their big festive release, but it’s certainly made Cats into a much-talked about release and that’s got to be worth something, right?
Cats trailer: Watch it here!
The full trailer was released online on July 18, giving us our first look at the movie’s style – and as we mentioned, the Internet went bananas.
In a behind-the-scenes look at the project at ComicCon, Hooper added that the digital technology being used to create the visuals will give the cast “the most perfect covering of fur”, while also making them look the size of actual cats. Interesting.
“The stage show, Cats, was not about a lot of people being convincing as cats, but it was about human beings discovering their cat-like nature,” he explained.
“They’re people playing cats, and that is the notion of the film, and it’s been done very wittingly, I think, and particularly the dancers.”
We’ll have to see if the reaction to the first trailer has changed anything when the new trailer lands on November 19.
Cats cast: Who’s in it?
Taylor Swift was among the first bunch of names confirmed for the movie as Bombalurina, along with Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and Ian McKellen as Grizabella, Bustopher Jones, Bombalurina and Gus the Theatre Cat, respectively.
McKellen prepared for the movie by finding his “inner pussy”. “You might well ask, how do you prepare for being a cat? Well, at the moment, I’m looking for the inner pussy,” he explained.
That was followed in September 2018 by the announcement of new cast members Laurie Davidson and Mette Towley, with Towley expected to play the youngest kitten Jemima.
Further big-name casting arrived in October 2018 as Idris Elba joined and was revealed to be playing the villainous Macavity, who kidnaps Old Deuteronomy and later tries to do the same with Demeter.
Talking of Old Deuteronomy, Judi Dench was announced to be coming on board as the Jellicles’ leader in a gender-swapped role as Old Deuteronomy is generally played by a man on-stage.
Dench was set to play Grizabella in the original West End production of Cats in 1981, but had to withdraw from the show after snapping her Achilles Tendon.
The adaptation will also feature a pivotal new character, a white kitten called Victoria, to be played by Francesca Hayward, the Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, while fellow Principal dancer Steven McRae will play Skimbleshanks.
Three-time Tony Award-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler is going to choreograph the movie, having worked on the musical’s recent stage revival.
Cats release date: When’s it coming out?
But the festive period proved a success for both Les Misérables and The Greatest Showman, so even if Star Wars dominates that weekend, expect Cats to have a long tail (sorry) at the box office.
Cats soundtrack: What songs can we expect?
The soundtrack has yet to be confirmed for the movie adaptation, but we can surely expect classic songs like ‘Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats’, ‘Memory’, ‘The Rum Tum Tugger’ and ‘Mr Mistoffelees’.
We also know that Andrew Lloyd Webber has worked with Taylor Swift to create a new song for the movie called ‘Beautiful Ghosts’, which will appear “at least three times” during the movie.
Based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the musical follows a tribe of cats called the Jellicles who, on a special night at the Jellicle Ball, tell their stories to the tribe’s leader Old Deuteronomy who must decide which one of the cats will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn.
Cats is set for release on December 20.