Andrew Lloyd Webber Calls the ‘Cats’ Movie ‘Ridiculous’
If you thought the monstrosity of 2019’s movie adaptation of Cats was over, you thought wrong. No, even amidst a global pandemic, the legacy of Tom Hooper’s cursed CGI kitty parade still haunts us. Now, in a recent interview with The Sunday Times, original Cats composer Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals his true feelings surrounding the adaptation. And of course, much like you would imagine, he didn’t like it.
“The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show,” Lloyd Webber explained. “The whole thing was ridiculous.” Ridiculous it was. The movie adaptation deviated from its source material whenever possible, including the addition of the cats’ teleportation powers and unfortunate computer-animated butts. Several of the musical’s show-stopping numbers were reimagined in a way that didn’t sit right with fans of the original, and confusing newcomers in the process. While Cats in its theatrical form wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it still managed to become the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history. In short, the musical worked. The 2019 movie did not.
Lloyd Webber’s opinions align with the overwhelming majority of critics and moviegoers who hated on the film upon its release. Not even Cats’ star-studded ensemble cast, which included Rebel Wilson, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, and James Corden, could save it. Corden, who played hefty tomcat Bustopher Jones, claimed he didn't even watch the movie, but heard it was "terrible". Financially, Cats was a box-office cat-astrophe, costing Universal an estimated $113 million. Not to mention, the movie swept at the 2019 Razzie Awards, garnering wins for Worst Picture and Worst Director, among others.
Indeed, many of Cats’ horrors could have been spared if Hooper had consulted Lloyd Webber or anyone else from the original production. That seemed to work for Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd and Adam Shankman’s Hairspray, both of which had the shows’ composers on hand throughout the moviemaking process. Then again, would Lloyd Webber (or anyone in their right mind) sign off on these disturbing feline-human hybrids and their dancing cockroach friends? That remains unknown.
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