After dropping a kind of cool featurette yesterday, Universal UK pre-empted the Friday release of the full trailer for Cats this afternoon and it’s…well, you’ll have to judge for yourself.
Employing what director Tom Hooper called “state of the art digital fur technology” (Twitter had fun with that yesterday, the cast was not required to sit in makeup chairs for hours in order to be ready to perform. Instead, computer graphics are used to create makeup and hair and, unlike the stage versions, done so as to not obscure the stars’ faces, a major selling point when you have a cast of Oscar winners like Judi Dench and Jennifer Hudson, Oscar nominee Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, James Corden, Jason Derulo and pop superstar Taylor Swift. It also features the debut of Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward as Victoria.
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.
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.
Cats is a Working Title Films and Amblin Entertainment production, in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group. It 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.
Universal Pictures will release Cats on December 20th. Here is the first trailer.