A few years ago, it was announced that the iconic Broadway Show from Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats, would be adapted into a feature film to premiere in 2019. A film adaptation of the broadway show has been in development hell for a while, going as far back to the 90s, where it was originally going to be an animated feature film from Spielberg’s Amblimation Studio. That film never came into fruition, but now in 2019 the film is finally becoming a reality from Les Miserables director Tom Hooper. However, rather than being an animated film as some may expect, the direction for this Cats movie is a rather fascinating one to say the least.
The trailer starts out at a night on the streets where cats are roaming around the city. These aren’t ordinary cats however, as the direction of this live-action adaptation was to have these characters resemble those in the Broadway Show, more like elaborate costumed characters of cats. However rather than simply be physical costumes, CGI has been used to enhance their realism.
The trailer continues, focusing on one of the cats, Victoria (played by newcomer Francesca Hayward ) as she joins this group of “Jellicle Cats”. The trailer showcases more of the big name celebrities featured in this movie including Judi Dench, James Cordon, Taylor Swift and Idris Elba to name a few, along with the sets being larger to emphasis how big the outside world is to a cat. All of this is set to the film’s most iconic song, Memories, this time sung by Jennifer Hudson.
Already many are critiquing the CGI’s uncanny valley look and wondering why the film did not go the route of a stylized animated musical or something in the vein of The Lion King (2019) with more realistic cats. The film does have an all star cast, a director experienced with musicals, and some decent singers attached to the project, but the CGI may throw off those unfamiliar with the original. As the main musical film release of winter 2019, Cats will certainly be an interesting film to look out for in terms of broadway musical adaptations.
Cats is set for release December 20th, 2019.
Watch the full trailer below: