The new, star-studded, and quite expensive film version of Cats —Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved, if perhaps impossible to film, musical — has been through a lot this year, earning online mockery for its first trailer then savagery from critics after they’d finally seen it. But the team behind it has never given up. As per The Hollywood Reporter, Universal has told theaters nationwide that a new version, with “improved visual effects,” will be made available starting Sunday.
Director Tom Hooper, who won an Oscar for The King’s Speech and whose Les Misérables movie was considerably better received than Cats, has not been shy about his problems making his latest musical. He even admitted, at its maiden screening, that he’d still been cutting the film mere hours before it was first shown. Part of the problem has been the visual effects, with many wisenheimers on social media mocking the “digital fur technology,” the too-human hands on its feline characters, and the butts, which also looked disturbingly human-like.
Perhaps another few days of brushing up will do the trick, but it’s probably too late: Cats earned a mere $2.6 million on its opening day — compare/contrast with The Rise of Skywalker, which on the same day made around $90 million — and scored a C+ on CinemaScore. But perhaps audiences attending Cats towards weekend’s end will get a markedly better picture. Or maybe Hooper will keep working on it until the end of time, hoping that someday he’ll get it just right.