What happens when you combine some of the greatest actors and singers of our generation with the words of Nobel Prize winning poet T. S. Eliot and the music of Tony-winning composer Andrew Lloyd Weber? You get the movie version of Cats. The movie is scheduled for holiday release, December 20, 2019.
Cats is one of the most popular musicals on Broadway or in London’s East End. It is also popular with touring companies, making it familiar to people who will never attend a Broadway production.
Dame Judi Dench (M in the James Bond movies, Commander Root in the upcoming Artemis Fowl, Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love) will play Old Deuteronomy, traditionally a male role. Sir Ian McKellan (Gandalf in LOTR, Magneto in X-Men) will play Gus the Theatre Cat. Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift will be Bombalurina, and Idris Elbra (Heimdall in the MCU) will be Macavity, the feline equivalent of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Moriarty Ray Winstone (Will Scarlet in Robin of Sherwood, Mac in Indiana).
The reactions to the trailer have been mostly polarized. You either love Andrew Lloyd Weber’s work on CATS, the original theatrical musical, or you’re creeped out by bizarre CGI effects that convert people into humanoid cats. This is digitally enhanced furry cosplay, in a way – some find it delightful, others call it “nightmare fuel”.
Which side of the fence are you on? Let us know in the comments below.