Speaking to The Sunday Times, the 72-year-old England native slammed director Tom Hooper’s take on the Broadway hit. “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,” Webber said in the interview posted on Sunday, August 2. “The whole thing was ridiculous.”
Cats garnered dismal responses from many critics and fans alike upon its December 2019 release. The musical film amassed $73 million at the worldwide box office, an amount that falls well below the film’s roughly $100 million pre-marketing budget. It also received multiple Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture.
The film is based on the long-running Broadway musical of the same name, which was adapted from T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Like the musical production, Hooper’s Cats follows a group of felines — known as the Jellicles — as they make their annual decision on who will be granted to enter the Heaviside Layer and return to a new life.
Cats encountered major road bumps leading up to its release. When the teaser trailer dropped in July 2019, Twitter users had negative reactions primarily due to the visual effects used to transform the actors into felines. Hooper, 47, redesigned this aspect in response to the backlash, and he re-edited it once again a week after Cats hit theaters.
Corden, 41, and Wilson, 40, later mocked the film at the 2020 Academy Awards. “As cast members of the motion picture Cats,” the Pitch Perfect star began in February, to which they continued on together, “Nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects. Here are the nominees for achievement in visual effects.”
Despite the heavy criticism of Cats, Swift said she had no regrets about appearing in the movie. “I had a really great time working on that weird-ass movie,” the “Cardigan” singer, 30, told Variety in January. “I’m not gonna retroactively decide that it wasn’t the best experience. I never would have met Andrew Lloyd Webber or gotten to see how he works, and now he’s my buddy. I got to work with the sickest dancers and performers. No complaints.”
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