Jennifer Hudson debuted her live version of “Memory” from Cats at the Universal Pictures’ CinemaCon presentation for exhibitors in Las Vegas on Wednesday (April 3).
The movie, an adaption of the hit Broadway play, stars Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Taylor Swift, and Ian McKellen. According to studio chief Donna Langley, , reports Variety, the CGI effects are so complicated, the studio had no footage ready to release.
Director Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) said the film will deploy “digital fur technology.” Sets were built three or four times bigger than normal in order to replicate a cat’s perspective and the cast was drilled in various forms of dance, from tap to ballet to hip-hop. Andy Blankenbuehler, best known for his work on “Hamilton,” is choreographing “Cats.”
The Tony-winning play about a tribe of cats called the Jellicles ran on Broadway for 18 years. The film is about “the importance of inclusion and community and forgiveness and redemption,” said Hooper.
Jennifer plays Grizabella, an aging “glamour cat”, ostracised by the community of cats. Grizabella’s moving performance of “Memory” is the highlight of the musical. The part has been portrayed by Broadway greats such as Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley.
Cats debuts Dec. 20.
Watch Jennifer Hudson debut “Memory” below.