Brace yourselves, as we have a brand new look at director Tom Hooper's Cats. This adaptation of the legendary Broadway musical has garnered a lot of attention ever since the first trailer dropped in July. And rightfully so. We have some of the world's finest actors and performers being turned into cats using groundbreaking digital effects. It's as crazy as it sounds and, as we see in this featurette, everyone is taking it very seriously.
This video comes with a whole lot less so-called "digital fur technology" as it's more of a behind-the-scenes look at how this is all going to come together. We see Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, James Corden and more discussing, in a very serious way, the process of bringing Cats to life. The choreography, without the CGI cat stuff, is impressive, that much is certain. Much like John Hammond with Jurassic Park, they've spared no expense to make this a spectacle. Swift, in particular, seems rather pleased to be adding "cat" to her resume, as she says the following rather excitedly in the video.
"If you told me I was going to get to be a cat for work, what?!"
The full, main cast includes James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift and Rebel Wilson, with Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward making her feature film debut. Robbie Fairchild An American in Paris, Laurie Davidson Will, hip hop dancers the Les Twins, aka Larry and Laurent Bourgeois, dancer Mette Towley, Royal Ballet principal dancer Steven McRae and singer Bluey Robinson round out the ensemble.
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While the studio has yet to release a full plot synopsis, it's promised this "reimagines the musical for a new generation." The Broadway musical centers on a tribe of Jellicle Cats who must make the "Jellicle choice" to decide which of them will make their way to the mysterious Heaviside Layer to be reborn. Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running and acclaimed musical is based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Since its debut in 1981, the musical has been performed nearly 9,000 times. It won seven Tony Awards in 1983, and won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award twice, both in 1982 and again in 2015.
Tom Hooper, the filmmaker behind The King's Speech, The Danish Girl and Les Miserables, has an award-winning pedigree. No doubt, the studio is hoping some of that magic rubs off on this project as well. Hooper co-wrote the screenplay alongside Lee Hall Bill Elliot, War Horse. Cats is set to arrive in theaters on December 20, where it will be going up directly against Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is one of the more interesting cinematic showdowns of the year. Be sure to check out the new featurette from the Universal Pictures YouTube channel for yourself.