Here’s Why People Are Freaking Out About the Cats Movie

Cats, Tom Hopper’s movie of the original zany musical, apparently will feature its cast, including Taylor Swift and Idris Elba, as . . . cat sized.

If you’ve never seen Cats, the wholesome yet terrifying Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about a tribe of feline “Jellicles” deciding which one of them will go to heaven (I’m not kidding, that’s what it’s about), it is a campy, nonsensical, spandex delight. And it sounds like the movie version by Tom Hooper (whose last musical adaptation was Les Misérables) is going to be even more bonkers, if the original wasn’t trippy enough.

A presentation of some cast featurettes and scenes of the set at CinemaCon on Wednesday revealed that the cats are the actual size of cats in the movie. Here’s what that means: In the musical, the very ’80s cats (they wear bodysuits) are played live by people onstage, and thus their surroundings are sized up to scale. The movie, however, will apparently see cat-sized Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Dame Judi freaking Dench running around and dancing and singing. If you can’t picture how weird this seems, try finding a cat and picturing it as James Corden. Seriously.

The cast of Cats is insane, including Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots, and Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, and the aforementioned stars. They’re playing a whole host of cat personalities, including burglar cats, evil cats, old cats, cats about town, and, of course, a “glamour cat” (Hudson, who will sing the iconic number “Memories”). Again, picture them all as the size of the closest cat you know, and that’s what it’ll be like watching Cats, which was already sort of cuckoo. And then there’s this Judi Dench quote: “We spent a very long time observing cats or learning how to be a cat.” Screaming.

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