Cats (2019 film)

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Cats
Cats 2019 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTom Hooper
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on
Starring
Music by
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Taylor Swift
CinematographyChristopher Ross
Edited byMelanie Ann Oliver
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • December 20, 2019 (2019-12-20) (United States)
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$95 million[1]

Cats is an upcoming 2019 musical fantasy film based on the stage musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which in turn was based on the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. The film is directed by Tom Hooper—in his second musical film following 2012's Les Misérables—from a screenplay by Lee Hall and Hooper and stars James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and introduces Francesca Hayward in her first feature-length film role.[2]

Cats is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019, by Universal Pictures.

Premise[edit]

Over the course of a single night, a tribe of cats called the Jellicles make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

An animated film adaptation based on the musical was initially planned by Amblimation in the 1990s, but was abandoned with the studio's closure.[24] In December 2013, Andrew Lloyd Webber, creator and composer of the musical stage production Cats, teased that Universal Pictures, which purchased film adaptation rights to Cats many years ago, was putting the project into active development.[25]

In February 2016, it was reported that Tom Hooper was in negotiations to direct the film, and was considering actresses, including Suki Waterhouse, to star.[26] In May 2016, Hooper was confirmed as director.[27]

In January 2018, Hooper and Working Title began officially casting for the film, while looking into the technical aspect of whether the film would be entirely live-action or computer generated or a mix of both,[28] with Lloyd Webber announcing he would be writing a new song for the film adaptation.[29] On October 24, 2019, it was announced that the new song is titled "Beautiful Ghosts", written by Taylor Swift and Lloyd Webber.[30] The song will be sung by Francesca Hayward, followed later in a reprise by Judi Dench, with a credits version sung by Swift.[31] The version sung by Swift was released on November 15, 2019.[32]

Casting[edit]

In June 2018, there were reports Anne Hathaway was considered for a role in the film, but she passed due to scheduling conflict.[33] In July 2018, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden and Ian McKellen joined the cast.[34] Swift had previously tested for the role of Éponine in Tom Hooper's Les Misérables but was given the part of Bombalurina without an audition.[35]

In September 2018, Laurie Davidson and Mette Towley were cast, with Steven Spielberg announced to be executive producing.[36][37] In October 2018, Idris Elba and Judi Dench joined the cast of the film.[38][39] Dench was cast in the original stage musical, but was forced to pull out due to a torn Achilles tendon; Lloyd Webber and Hooper decided to make Old Deuteronomy a woman and offered her the role.[40]

In November 2018, ballet dancers Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae as well as Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, and Robert Fairchild joined the cast of the film with rehearsals commencing at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, England.[41][42][43][44] Andy Blankenbuehler choreographed the film, after Wayne McGregor was forced to back out due to scheduling conflicts.[45] Blankenbuehler also choreographed the stage musical's 2016 Broadway revival. In December 2018, Les Twins and Eric Underwood joined the cast.[46]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on December 12, 2018,[46] and ended on April 2, 2019.[47]

Release[edit]

The film is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on December 20, 2019.[48]

Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Cats will be released alongside Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and is projected to gross $15–20 million in its opening weekend.[49]

Accolades[edit]

Awards and nominations for Cats
List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
Golden Globe Awards January 5, 2020[50] Best Original Song "Beautiful Ghosts" by Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber Pending

Music[edit]

Music for the film was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. A "highlights" edition of the soundtrack with a running time of 59 minutes is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2019, by Polydor Records.[51]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from iTunes.

Cats: Highlights From the Motion Picture Soundtrack
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Overture"Andrew Lloyd Webber 1:38
2."Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats" (performed by Cast of the Motion Picture "Cats")  4:49
3."The Old Gumbie Cat" (performed by Rebel Wilson featuring Robbie Fairchild)  4:32
4."The Rum Tum Tugger" (performed by Jason Derulo)  3:48
5."Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town" (performed by James Corden featuring Derulo, Cory English & Idris Elba)  3:42
6."Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" (performed by Danny Collins, Naoimh Morgan & Francesca Hayward)  3:54
7."Old Deuteronomy" (performed by Fairchild featuring Judi Dench)  3:08
8."Beautiful Ghosts (Victoria's Song)" (performed by Hayward)
2:50
9."Magical Gus"Lloyd Webber 0:36
10."Gus: The Theatre Cat" (performed by Ian McKellen)  3:59
11."Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat" (performed by Steven McRae featuring Fairchild)  4:00
12."Macavity" (performed by Swift featuring Elba)  5:11
13."Mr. Mistoffelees" (performed by Laurie Davidson featuring Fairchild, Dench & Hayward)  4:41
14."Memory" (performed by Jennifer Hudson featuring Hayward)  4:24
15."The Addressing of Cats" (performed by Dench)  3:27
16."Beautiful Ghosts" (performed by Swift)
  • Swift
  • Lloyd Webber
  • Wells
  • Hooper
  • Lloyd Webber
4:21
Total length:59:00

Marketing[edit]

On April 6, 2019, Jennifer Hudson performed "Memory" at the Las Vegas CinemaCon, along with a behind-the-scenes look with the film’s cast and crew.[52] On July 17, 2019, Universal released a behind-the-scenes featurette detailing the various aspects of the film's production and featuring interviews with the cast and crew.[53] The first trailer for the film was released on July 18, 2019,[54] and received overwhelmingly negative reactions from viewers.[55] Many viewers were unsettled by the mix of CGI and live-action used to portray the cats, and cited the effects as an example of the uncanny valley.[56][57]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]