Remember when Cats: The Movie came out? It was a simpler time. It was December of last year! And my God, the shenanigans. The film’s release date kept getting pushed back because the CGI was so creepy, and they kept having to add and then edit out cat buttholes. The singing, dancing cats were apparently terrifying – I still haven’t seen it, and I don’t plan to. Anyway, the original musical was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, an icon of musical theater. Has ALW ever had a successful stage-to-screen adaptation? Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats… no, guess not. But ALW apparently loathed the Cats movie:
If and when the show finally opens, it will return Lloyd Webber to the theatre where he premiered Cats. And, not long after, sold the film rights to Steven Spielberg, who never shot so much as a frame. That task fell to Tom Hooper, whose version was greeted with derision and appalled fascination last year. Lloyd Webber looks like he can barely bring himself to speak of it.
“The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided, as he had with Les Mis, that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show … The whole thing was ridiculous.”
I’m not trying to be that person who hates on a music theater icon, but… how did *any* of these people think that Cats would be able to adapt well to the screen? While the musical is famously long-running, it’s not known as a particularly good show and the Cats movie had disaster written all over it from the start. ALW even wrote/cowrote new music for the movie too. Now he wants to disassociate himself from the mess.
Did you know that Universal (the studio) lost an estimated $113 million on Cats? I bet they lost more than that, honestly, given the CGI and all of the redos and re-edits and such. It was like burning money.
Photos courtesy of WENN, ‘Cats’.