It may have a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 63 “fresh” reviews — a number that seems worryingly high — but there’s been few movies more unloved than Cats, last year’s instant anti- classic movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved musical. Even the writer of Battleship Earth — one of bad cinema’s brightest lights — thought it was an all-time worst. Six months after its disastrous theatrical release, the Cats earned another hater: the man who wrote its once-popular songs.
As per Deadline, Andrew Lloyd Webber finally broke his silence about the movie that may have permanently destroyed the reputation of one of his most popular productions. Part of the problem, he surmised, was that the filmmakers never consulted him, perhaps afraid that the composer for Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar might point out that having visible buttholes and humans as puny mice might be kind of creepy.
“The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show,” Webber recently told The Sunday Times. “The whole thing was ridiculous.”
Webber is far from the only person whose name is on the film — which reportedly lost Universal Pictures some $113 million — to diss Hooper’s movie. Stars James Corden and Rebel Wilson mocked its visual effects at the Oscars — rightfully earning the ire of some of its hard-working tech crew — and Judi Dench mocked her “battered, mangy” look as the eldest feline. Meanwhile, “Macavity” chanteuse Taylor Swift survived the ordeal, and half a year later scored her seventh-ever No. 1 album.
Webber’s choice words for the Cats movie may be him trying to salvage both his name and his show, which for decades has been mounted all over the world and whose rep may forever be tainted by a movie that started getting The Room-style laugh-at-it screenings within its first week of release. Maybe it will work and a major studio will think it’s smart to pour a ton of money into a movie version of Webber’s model train musical, Starlight Express.