Musicals are always uplifting experiences for moviegoers, since it combines a wholesome plot, with music, dancing, and a satisfactory conclusion, so that everyone has something to take away from the film. ‘Cats’ is a musical fantasy that is based on the stage musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Naturally, ‘Cats’ was a huge hit on Broadway, running there for 18 years, and across the pond in London as well, running there for 21 years. Eventually, ‘Cats’ began to make its way into American pop culture as well, with its songs being sung. The musical also managed to feature in a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit. However, the entire concept of ‘Cats’ comes from the famous poet T.S. Eliot, whose 1939 poetry collection, ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, gives us the stories we need.
The 2019 film already boasts of a stellar cast, not to mention the promise of song and dance that will once again remind viewers why ‘Cats’ is so enjoyable at its core. Although there have been some detractors early on, ‘Cats’ promises to be faithful to its stage productions, leading us to believe that we are in for a very wonderful film-watching experience.
Cats Plot: What Is It About?
As we mentioned, ‘Cats’ is originally based on Eliot’s book. The poet has managed to painstakingly give each cat their individual story, and in the process, has created a highly complicated cat culture. The musical will attempt to familiarize us with this culture. Part of the culture is a tribe of cats called the Jellicles who make it a point to attend the Jellicle Ball each year. Apparently the cats do not have nine lives here since the function of the Jellicle Ball is to help them decide which cat will go to Heaviside Layer. This is a term for cat heaven, where they ascend, only to be reborn into a new life. On the same night, the cats tell their life stories to Old Deuteronomy, their leader.
The basic adventure in the film arises from the fact that the cats decide among themselves about who is going to be reborn. From what we understand, ‘Cats’ will focus on the relationships among the tribe members of the Jellicles, using it to drive the plot forward. Interspersed with song and dance, capturing every emotion perfectly, the fantasy musical promises to be an entertaining watch.
Cats Cast: Who Is In It?
The cast of ‘Cats’ is filled with stars. First off, we have James Corden lending his voice to Bustopher Jones. Judi Dench, who ironically missed out on appearing in the original stage production due to a torn Achilles tendon, will finally get her chance to play a role in ‘Cats’. However, this time she appears as Old Deuteronomy. Idris Elba and Ian McKellen appear as Macavity and Gus the Theatre Cat. Other cast members include Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Taylor Swift as Bombalurina, Francesca Hayward as Victoria and Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots. Notably, the French twin dancers known as Les Twins appear as Plato and Socrates.
The cast is rounded out by Laurie Davidson as Mr. Mistoffelees, Robert Fairchild as Munkustrap, Steven McRae as Skimbleshanks, Bluey Robinson as Alonzo, and Ray Winstone as Growltiger. Naturally, there are other cast members who will make us familiar with just how complex the cultural practices of cats can really be. Hudson’s character, Grizabella has been a crowd favorite for a long time, so it will be a performance to watch out for, apart from McRae’s Skimbleshanks, which has also been a crowd-pleaser.
Cats Crew: Who Is Behind It?
Tom Hooper, Oscar-winner for ‘The King’s Speech’, is directing ‘Cats’. He spoke about how his success with ‘Les Miserables‘ allowed him to consider the prospect of making a movie based on the famous musical. Now that the movie has come to the forefront and is being made, we know that the screenplay comes from Hooper himself, and Lee Hall. Since the music itself is an integral part of any musical, it would be important to note that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Taylor Swift are in charge, meaning we will get a mix between the classic tunes, with Swift adding a modern take to them.
Christopher Ross is the man in charge of shooting the film, while production companies, like Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, is heavily involved. Universal Pictures is in charge of distributing the movie. Hooper is on board as a producer as well, along with Debra Hayward, Tim Bevan, and Eric Fellner.
Cats Release Date: When Will It Premiere?
‘Cats’ is slated to be released on December 20, 2019. Interestingly, this makes the musical clash with ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘, which is being touted as the last movie of the Skywalker Saga. While this might mean that the musical will be overshadowed by the space opera, there is a chance that ‘Cats’ will appeal to a wider variety of viewers.
Notably, ‘Cats’ has been in the works for a while, but in true Hollywood fashion, the project kept getting delayed. Finally, filming began in late 2018 and wrapped up in April 2019. We expect good things from the film once it releases, considering the effort that went into it.
You can check out the trailer of ‘Cats’ below. Surprisingly, the trailer received some ferocious reactions from audiences, who could not figure out why the half-human, half-cat figures were so disturbing. Some have said that the cats look nuder than if the actors had posed themselves. However, the costumes look to be faithful to the stage counterparts. Some have also pointed out that the trailer sometimes shows the cats to be as large as humans, while at other times they appear small. Despite all the complaints, the overall takeaway is positive, and we hope the reactions to the movie will be more favorable.
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