We, at long last, have the first trailer for Cats. This serves as the long-awaited movie adaptation of the legendary and incredibly popular Broadway musical. But can such a thing translate well to the big screen? Universal Pictures intends to find out, and they’ve lined up an all-star cast in front of the camera, which includes Taylor Swift and Idris Elba, in addition to Oscar-winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) behind the camera. And, yep, it sure looks like all of these actors and music stars are playing cats alright.
Before the Comic-Con trailer arrived, buzz started to generate online for Cats when a featurette which recently made its way online, was played at CinemaCon. To the amazement of everyone, though perhaps not surprisingly, the movie will be turning all of these actors into actual cat-sized cats using cutting edge technology. They’ve even built massive, detailed sets that allow for someone like Rebel Wilson to dance on a table and have her look to be the size of a house cat. What’s more amazing is how very seriously everyone seems to be taking it when this is, in fact, a movie about cats.
In any event, Universal Pictures has pulled out all the stops for this one while showing us the trailer during Comic-Con. Aside from the respected Tom Hooper, the team behind the scenes also includes several additional Oscar nominees and winners. The crew consists of production designer Eve Stewart (The King’s Speech), cinematographer Christopher Ross (Room), costume designer Paco Delgado (The Danish Girl), sound mixer Simon Hayes (Les Miserables), executive music producer Marius De Vries (Moulin Rouge) and casting director Lucy Bevan (Murder on the Orient Express).
The full cast is equally impressive. It includes James Corden (Ocean’s 8), Judi Dench (Skyfall), Idris Elba (Hobbs & Shaw), Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings), Rebel Wilson (Isn’t It Romantic) and introduces Francesca Hayward, principal dancer of the Royal Ballet, in her debut feature. Not to mention having several very successful musicians on board in the form of Jason Derulo, Jennifer Hudson and Taylor Swift.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical remains one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history. The story, in short, centers on a tribe of Jellicle Cats who, on a moonlit evening, must make the “Jellicle choice” to decide which of them will ascend to the mysterious Heaviside Layer to be reborn. Webber based the show on T.S. Eliot’s collection of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The show has been performed just shy of 9,000 times since its debut in 1981. It also took home seven Tony Awards in 1983, and, rather amazingly, won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award not once, but twice, first in 1982 and once again in 2015.
La La Land helped to cement musicals as something that can be highly profitable in the modern Hollywood landscape. But can this work for the average moviegoer? It’s going to be fascinating to see how this all plays out. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself. Cats is set to pounce into theaters on December 20 from Universal Pictures.