Tom Hooper, director of the highly anticipated adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical Cats, has revealed the film’s CGI and visuals have been improved ahead of its December release. Following the release of its first trailer in July, viewers responded a heavy critical backlash toward the film’s CGI used to animate its titular humanoid cats.
Using what Hooper has dubbed “digital fur technology,” Cats aimed to transform stars like Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, and Jason Derulo into humanoid cats “realistically.” In an interview with Empire, Hooper said he was “fascinated” by the trailer’s controversy, stating he “didn’t think it was controversial at all.” Confirming that the CGI featured in the first trailer was still in early development stages, he affirmed that the final film would showcase an improvement.
Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical of the same name, Cats‘ development was announced nearly four years ago in early 2016. Hooper, who has previously directed 2010’s Best Picture winner The King’s Speech and the film adaptation of Les Misérables, said that Cats’ final design would be up to audience standards, as the team now better understands how to use the digital fur technology.
Although a second trailer released last week didn’t show any major improvements in terms of the CGI and visuals, Cats is still set for theatrical release Dec. 20.