Steven Spielberg's Animated 'Cats' Movie Could Have Been Even Worse than the Live-Action Version
It was the disaster everyone saw coming — but few actually saw — in 2019. Yet, director Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation of Broadway hit Cats still took audiences and critics by surprise with how insane it was. Since the film’s December 2019 release, we’ve learned a whole lot more about the production of the film, including the existence of a shocking alternate cut.
But what some moviegoers may not know is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical was almost made into a very different movie back in the 1990s. At one point, Steven Spielberg himself was set to spearhead an animated Cats. We’re unconvinced this approach would have resulted in a better film than what we got in 2019.
Long before Hooper decided to turn Cats into a film, the musical had already earned a divisive reputation among theatergoers. Premiering on the London stage in 1981, the show was nearly devoid of plot. In fact, its structure transforms audiences into guests at the “Jellicle Ball,” an annual contest to win a new life. And its songs introduce each competitor.
No wonder it took until 2019 for a film adaptation to finally see the light of day. Right from the initial trailer’s release, moviegoers and critics alike noted the surreal “digital fur technology” which featured heavily in Hooper’s Cats. This technique blended human actors with computer effects which turned them into feline-human hybrids.
With months of negative buzz surrounding the project, Universal’s $95 million production brought in a paltry $6.6 ...
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