Umm… The ‘Cats’ Trailer with Taylor Swift, Idris Elba & More is Hilariously Terrifying

Universal Pictures

Oh boy.

The first trailer has arrived for musical adaptation Cats – and yeah, it’s what nightmares are made of. The upcoming movie is based on the record-breaking stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which played for a whopping 21 years at the New London Theatre and follows a tribe of cats on the night they decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

Director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables) and his big creative team decided to go the CG route with this one, a decision that, at least from the trailer below, maybe was too ambitious. The ‘hovering face’ CG issue is everywhere here, as the big cast attempt to do what they can while undeniably silly-looking effects incorporate them into feline bodies. It’s… an uncomfortable result.

Jennifer Hudson goes all Dreamgirls and belts out the show’s popular track “Memory,” while we get snippets of other characters played by Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, James Corden, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo and newcomer Francesca Hayward. There will be a variety of dance styles on display, from ballet to hip-hop.

It’s not great so far. Could it just be the furball of a trailer? Will the movie have a lick of quality? Will this be a cat-astrophe? Sorry.

We’ll find out when the film hits US cinemas on December 20 and arrives in Australia on December 26.

Underneath the trailer, by the way, we’ve included a behind-the-scenes featurette on the film.

Universal Pictures and Working Title’s Cats is a most-unexpected film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved smash musical “Cats” and the poems from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” by T.S. Eliot. Oscar®-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables, The Danish Girl) brings astonishing new technology to transform his cast members. Acclaimed casting director Lucy Bevan is casting the film adaptation.

The epic will be produced by Hooper and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, as well as fellow Les Misérables producer Debra Hayward—who brought the idea to Working Title. CATS will be produced by Working Title Films in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group and executive produced by Lloyd Webber, Angela Morrison and Jo Burn. Hooper and Lee Hall (Billy Elliott, War Horse) have adapted the story for the screen.

One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, “Cats” received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981—where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances. The groundbreaking production based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” was the winner of 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.

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows.