The Cats movie trailer is here. The highly anticipated film stars American Idol alum and The Voice coach Jennifer Hudson along with James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson. Plus the film marks the debut of Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward.
Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables, The Danish Girl) directs, based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical. Check out the trailer below, which features Jennifer Hudson’s powerful rendition of “Memory”
Additionally, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In the Heights), guides the world-class cast of dancers featuring dance styles ranging from classical ballet to contemporary, hip-hop to jazz, street dance to tap. The film also stars Robbie Fairchild (Broadway’s An American in Paris), Laurie Davidson (TNT’s Will), World of Dance winners and international hip-hop dance stars Les Twins (Larry and Laurent Bourgeois), acclaimed dancer Mette Towley (featured in videos for Rihanna and Pharrell Williams’ N.E.R.D.), Royal Ballet principal dancer Steven McRae, and rising-star singer Bluey Robinson.
The film reimagines the musical, by utilizing state-of-the-art technology. The actors don’t seem to be wearing costumes, but appear to be animal/human hybrids. It’s very unique.
The screenplay by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot, Rocketman) and Hooper is 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.
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.
UPDATED: Online critical reaction to the trailer has centered around the CGI effects, which appear “uncanny” to some people. In other words, Cats CGI work renders the actors so they seem realistic, but just slightly off. And that slight difference can literally be uncomfortable to watch. I had a few moments like that while viewing the trailer. But I think I could sit through the movie without wanting to run screaming from the theater. I mean, it’s no Polar Express, but maybe that’s just me.
Watch the Cats movie trailer below. The film is due out at Christmas.