A feature film version of the Broadway favorite Cats was always going to be catnip for musical theater lovers. But the first trailer for the Tom Hooper-directed movie musical — due in theaters on Dec. 20 — is aiming to dance into the hearts of viewers of all ages and species. Boasting a cast that includes Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift and James Corden, this lavish adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 hit hopes to be the purrr-fect holiday present for families who are still singing The Greatest Showman showtunes. (Watch the trailer above.)
Based on the online reaction, though, a Halloween release date might have been more appropriate. Not long after the trailer dropped, the internet quickly did its thing and deemed Cats “scarier than the IT trailer,” posting nightmare-inducing images to drive home their point.
I can't believe the Cats trailer is scarier than the IT trailer pic.twitter.com/QPp7Jh7mWB— Joe 🏳️🌈 (@JoePassmore) July 18, 2019
the James Corden cat is what I see in the corner of my room when I have sleep paralysis pic.twitter.com/l9I9CBh9VG— georgia 🦁 (@brightroars_) July 18, 2019
I put the song from Us onto the Cats trailer and I think it fits better. pic.twitter.com/VMBlbeDQs5— "Ian" Abramson (@ianabramson) July 18, 2019
HOW DOES THE CATS MOVIE SOMEHOW LOOK EVEN WORSE THAN THE NIGHTMARE FUEL MY IMAGINATION CONJURED UP pic.twitter.com/UZqtZUArTa— josh lewis (@thejoshl) July 18, 2019
If anyone wants to have a nightmare tonight, watch the Cats trailer. Chilling. pic.twitter.com/UlONmWsrJT— Omid Scobie (@scobie) July 18, 2019
Prior to the trailer’s release, speculation had been rampant about how Hooper would give his human cast a feline makeover. In a recently released featurette, the director teased the “digital fur technology” that would transform Swift, Hudson and Elba into Bombalurina, Grizabella and Macavity, respectively. Rumors had also been swirling that the actors would be digitally rendered as cat-sized, based on reports that emerged out of Cinema Con back in April. None of that prepared Twitter for actually seeing the cast as cats. Apparently, size does matter.
THE CATS ARE TOO SMALL!!! I REPEAT, THE CATS ARE TOO SMALL!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/z7IGQYFDCQ— Nicole Silverberg (@nsilverberg) July 18, 2019
nobody involved in making this movie knows how large or small at cat is pic.twitter.com/AH2wS17HNu— Megan Lasher (@MeganLasher) July 18, 2019
EVERYTHING IS THE SIZE OF CATS EXCEPT THEIR... FACES????— mat whitehead (@matwhi) July 18, 2019
Webber’s score for Cats includes such memorable kitty ditties as “Bustopher Jones,” “Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat” and “Mr. Mistoffelees.” But the show’s signature number, and the one that’s most prominently featured in the trailer, is “Memory,” which generations of theater lovers have grown up belting in the shower, at karaoke or in an audition room. For obvious reasons that’s the song that Hudson — who won an Oscar for her showstopping performance in Dreamgirls — gets to sing. And even if people are divided about her look, everyone agrees her voice is on point.
BREAKING NEWS: Jennifer Hudson is going to get an Academy Award nomination for THIS and we are going to be OK with it. pic.twitter.com/O8uLlCre2I— Zach Schiffman (@schlife) July 18, 2019
Jennifer Hudson singing Memory from Cats is Heaven. Really, I'm crying a lot— Alejandra #RttRAH💙 (@ChoAles) July 18, 2019
We all laugh now— Jackson Lanzing 🖤 SDCC (@JacksonLanzing) July 19, 2019
but if Jennifer Hudson absolutely murders “Memory”
(and it looks like she does)
we will all soon have to face the stone cold fact
that we all wept during CATS
Even though Swift doesn’t get to show off her pipes in the trailer, her squad is feeling the cat scratch fever.
But obviously, we all know who the real winners of this Cats-travaganza are:
Dogs watching the Cats trailer and knowing how hard it’s going to damage the cat brand: pic.twitter.com/JyfYSAciis— Michael Tannenbaum (@iamTannenbaum) July 18, 2019
Cats opens in theaters on Dec. 20.
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