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Cats, a film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical from Universal, is coming out next year. I've been following its progress ever since Tom Hooper was announced as director in 2016. As the cast grows and filming is to start next month at WB Studios in Leavesden, there is one question that hasn't been answered: How the hell are they going to pull this off?!?
The musical is about talking cats having a ball in a junkyard. Said cats are portrayed on stage by people in skintight costumes and makeup.
There was going to be an animated version by Amblimation but the studio got shut down to form Dreamworks Animation. I think this was a missed opportunity since this is a musical that is well suited for animation due to the fantastical subject matter.
But now we have this version. So, how are they going to handle the cats? Here is what we do know. The choreographer made a casting call for any dancers that could sing, making me think that Hooper is going to use the same "singing on set" technique he used on Les Misérables. Anyway, I can this going two ways.
1. Use costumes and makeup like the stage version, only with much more detail.
2. Use motion capture for CGI characters.
As for the cast, here are the names and roles.
Jennifer Hudson: Grizabella
Taylor Swift: Demeter or Bombalurina (all Webber said was that she would sing the Macavity song)
Ian McKellen: Gus
Mette Towley: Jemima
Idris Elba: Macavity
This is an interesting lineup to say the least.
I think it is safe to say the trailers will make or break this film. This will be a hard sell to the general public if the cats look stupid or creepy. But hey, who knows?
Edited by DS9guy on Apr 8th 2019 at 7:15:12 AM
IT'S SO EASY TO LEAVE ME
The Hollywood Reporter attempting to summarize the "plot" of Cats, as it were. See if you can follow along.
Yeah, the musical is a collection of T.S. Eliot poems strung together to make the barest of plots. Tom Hooper is writing the script with Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall, hopefully to make it more cohesive.
Also, since Tom Hooper is a guy known for making period dramas, I am hoping that the setting will be in the 1930s/40s, which is when Eliot wrote the poems. That would certainly make some the more dated references to stuff like Woolworth's make more sense.
Edit: It seems Judi Dench, who could have been the first one to play Grizabella, has been cast as a gender swapped Old Deuteronomy.
Edited by DS9guy on Nov 2nd 2018 at 9:28:37 AM
Francesca Hayward has been cast as Victoria. I did not expect them to cast a dancer from the Royal Ballet. I just hope she can sing.
A STREETLAMP DIES, ANOTHER NIGHT IS OVER
Its honestly one of the reasons I find Cats to be rather boring. There really ISN'T a plot and what is there is rather thin. The show is more about spectacle than substance.
Though, to also be clear, I think there's maybe 2 Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals I don't find a tad boring. So I just also might not like him as a creator.
They hired another dancer from the Royal Ballet, Steven McRae, to play Skimbleshanks the Railroad Cat.
Edited by DS9guy on Nov 9th 2018 at 1:24:41 PM
Rebel Wilson will play Jennyanydots.
Jason Derulo joins as Rum Tum Tugger
Due to scheduling conflicts, Andy Blankenbuehler will replace Wayne McGregor as choreographer. He previously choreographed Hamilton and the stage revival of Cats, so he has experience with the property.
Edited by DS9guy on Nov 24th 2018 at 1:04:29 PM
Filming has begun. Also, more cast and crew has been announced.
Motion Capture confirmed and just like the stage show, they are going to scale all the sets to cat size and said sets are not going to be confined to the junkyard.
I don't know if you guys have seen Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but the episode where they parody Cats was the best, since it was all a metaphor for the main character Rebecca's vagina. Yes, really:
Edited by alliterator on Apr 7th 2019 at 11:46:05 AM
I originally didn't care about this at all, because I frankly don't care about Cats, but now I heard that they built giant sets in a scale that it fits the actors seize if they were actual cats, and now I kind of HAVE to see it, because just thinking of the notion of reputable actors jumping over giant chairs just makes me giggle.
I'm just wondering what they are going to look like with CGI. Are they just adding fur and cat noses or giving them fully feline heads?
Edit: Oh. And here is Jennifer Hudson singing Memory.
Edited by DS9guy on Apr 8th 2019 at 7:14:35 AM
Edited by DS9guy on Jul 17th 2019 at 2:24:51 PM
Casting a bunch of celebrity musicians is a bit disappointing. I wonder about the costumes, though. Cats' costumes work because it's a play, but the characters are most likely normal cats who are Stylized for the Viewer.
I was disappointed that the Broadway revival was short-lived, but at least the film is being made. Film adaptations are nice and easily accessible.
Edited by Pichu-kun on Jul 17th 2019 at 11:00:53 AM
It looks like an enormous dumpster fire and I am fascinated.
Edited by Tuckerscreator on Jul 18th 2019 at 2:56:12 AM
This movie just went "Hold my beer" to the Sonic the Hedgehog trailer's Uncanny Valley feel.
I was kinda hoping they would do something similar to the new Lion King remake and make it photorealistic. They are not doing that.
This looks like an unmitigated disaster.
I love the Twitter reactions. Especially this one:
I'm... actually kinda intrigued by this. I'm not yet sure of how I feel about the cat designs, but it's an interesting direction, the sets look good, and what singing we heard was magical to me. So... I'm not inclined to write it off, I think.
I can't tell if those are supposed to be real people in real costumes or CG motion capture a la those CG motion capture movies by Robert Zemeckis...
Either way, it feels...off.
Like this really should've been cartoonier or something.
(That said, the music does sound smashing, so...)
Edited by TargetmasterJoe on Jul 18th 2019 at 8:01:42 AM
The CGI'd actors actually doesn't bother me but the staging is incredibly offputting.
Trying to properly scale the cast as regular cats with blatant green screen backgrounds compounded with anything that isn't a close-up just doesn't work for me.
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