- Tom Hooper, director of Les Misérables, is directing a movie adaptation of the musical Cats, which just put out a new trailer.
- The movie will have a ridiculously stacked cast with various musical backgrounds.
- The release date is planned for December 20, 2019.
Even if you aren't a musical theater geek, you're probably at least passingly familiar with Cats, the mega-hit Broadway show that features the song "Memory." The musical debuted in 1981 in London and 1982 on Broadway, and then went on to be one of the highest grossing musicals of all time before closing in 2000, Playbill reports. In fact, the show was so popular that it was revived in 2015 and ran for another 500-plus performances before closing again in 2017.
Because of its success, it's almost surprising that it's taken this long to get a big movie adaptation rolling. But we're getting a Cats movie musical at the end of this year, coming courtesy of Tom Hooper, who had previous stage-to-screen success with the 2012 adaptation of Les Misérables. That movie earned Anne Hathaway an Academy Award for Best Actress — will Cats have the same magic?
It's unclear, but Hooper sure has a lot of stars in his pocket who can try for it. Now that a behind-the-scenes video has been released — with a full trailer right on its heels — here's everything we know about Cats.
There's a lot of talent involved.
Not only is there a huge list of names involved in the Cats production, they come from all over: Some are screen stars, some are stage stars, some are ballet dancers, some are hip-hop dancers, and some are pop musicians.
The most important question is: Who gets to sing "Memory?" This time the lucky winner is ... Jennifer Hudson! She's taking on the role of Grizabella this time out, following in the footsteps of people like Elaine May and Leona Lewis. With all of the headlines around her involvement, you might've thought it was Taylor Swift, but Swift plays Bombalurina.
But that doesn't even cat-scratch the surface of who's going to be in this movie. There are also titans of the film industry: Dame Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy and Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat. And you've also got Idris Elba (Macavity), Jason Derulo (Rum Tum Tugger), James Corden (Bustopher Jones), and Rebel Wilson (Jennyanydots) in there, too.
Then there are the dancers: There's Robert Fairchild, who was a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet, and Steven McRae and Francesca Hayward, who were principals at the Royal Ballet. There are Les Twins, dancers familiar to anyone who has seen Beyonce's Homecoming. And there's even Mette Towely, a dancer whose head was shaved by Rihanna in the "Lemon" music video. So it's a deep bench full of performers with diverse backgrounds.
It's good the cast is so stacked, because the plot is ... impressionistic?
The musical took its inspiration from a book of poetry, T.S. Eliot's, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. They drew a loose plot out of Eliot's stories. (A very loose plot. So loose that The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt had a running joke in its last season about how anyone can just go up on stage and join the cast so long as they acted like a cat.) But the idea is that there's a tribe of cats, called Jellicles, that once a year hold a ball to decide which cat will ascend and receive new life. In this universe, I guess not all cats have nine lives.
Don't forget about the "digital fur technology."
Even if you've never seen Cats, there are a couple of things the musical is known for: the song "Memory," the scruffy costumes, and the oversize sets. There was always something of a disconnect seeing respected Broadway actors belt out technically accomplished showtunes while wearing '80s-looking leotards and cat whiskers.
This production promises to be different. The creators promise "digital fur technology," which is said to completely cover the actors in cat fur. (They should turn it into an app — it would immediately rival FaceApp.)
The sets, as you can see, stay true to the spirit of the original Cats sets, in that they're full of chairs, tables, and props that are blown up so big, they make people look cat-sized.
Needless to say, people have a lot of feelings about it.
I don't know what I expected from CATS' "digital fur technology" but the short answer is NOT this.— Kristy Puchko (@KristyPuchko) July 18, 2019
My brain has melted. My eyes are bleeding. There is no god. pic.twitter.com/HMeM0ixal1
somehow the people in Cats look more nude than if they were actually nude, and it's weird as hell. pic.twitter.com/vw8vtsIAUa— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) July 18, 2019
CATS movie trailer just dropped .. looks good pic.twitter.com/EEa2x4gNSB— Seth Abramovitch (@SethAbramovitch) July 16, 2019
so the Cats movie trailer came on in the previews for lion king last night and the little kid beside me was hiding bc he thought it was a trailer for a horror movie i- pic.twitter.com/QZiszlRRtZ— sheryl (@sheryl_brianna2) July 19, 2019
We still have a long wait before it comes out.
The movie will be released on December 20, 2019, probably in a bid to rack up as many Oscars as it can. Until then, tide yourself over with this medley from Good Morning America, starring Leona Lewis as Grizzabella.
('You Might Also Like',)