Tom Hooper Confirms CATS Film Characters Were Redesigned Following Trailer Reaction
In a new interview, CATS film director, Tom Hooper, has revealed that changes were made to the film's visual effects and character design following the swift and divisive backlash to the film's first trailer.
He tells Empire magazine, "We'd only finished shooting in March, so all the visual effects were at quite an early stage."
"Possibly there were, in the extremity in some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving [the production]" he continues, "When you watch the finished film, you'll see that some of the designs of the cats have moved on since then, and certainly our understanding of how to use the technology to make them work has gone up, too."
Hooper admits that the strong reaction was not something he had been prepared for, "I was just so fascinated because I didn't think it was controversial at all. So it was quite entertaining. Cats was apparently the number-one trending topic in the world, for a good few hours at least."
The film stars James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward, in her feature film debut.
Featuring Lloyd Webber's iconic music and a world-class cast of dancers under the guidance of Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In the Heights), the film reimagines the musical for a new generation with spectacular production design, state-of-the-art technology, and dance styles ranging from ballet to contemporary, hip-hop to jazz, street to tap.
Universal Pictures presents a Working Title Films and Amblin Entertainment production, in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group. Cats is produced by Debra Hayward, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Tom Hooper. The screenplay is by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot, Rocketman) and Hooper, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot and the stage musical by Lloyd Webber. Cats is executive produced by Lloyd Webber, Steven Spielberg, Angela Morrison and Jo Burn.
One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, the stage musical "Cats" received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981, where it played for 21 years and earned the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. In 1983, the Broadway production became the recipient of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and ran for an extraordinary 18 years. Since opening in London in 1981, "Cats" has continuously appeared on stage around the globe, to date having played to 81 million people in more than fifty countries and in nineteen languages. It is regarded as one of the most successful musicals of all time.