James Corden is one of the top-billed stars of “Cats,” Tom Hooper’s critically reviled adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, but he has yet to see the theatrical cut. The late night host revealed as much during an appearance on Zoe Ball's Radio 2 show via The Independent. The film opened nationwide December 20 and world premiered December 16 at New York City’s Lincoln Center. Corden, who plays Bustopher Jones in the film, attended the world premiere but according to Business Insider’s Jason Guerrasio the actor did not even come out on stage when called upon. Corden told Zoe Ball he yet to see “Cats,” but he’s well aware of the critical backlash. As Corden put it, “I’ve heard it’s terrible.”
“Cats” has received some of the worst film reviews of 2019. On Rotten Tomatoes, the musical has earned a horrendous 18% from 186 reviews. “Cats” doesn’t fare much better on Metaritic, where it has a score of 32. The movie is turning into a box office bomb after grossing just $6.5 million in the U.S. over its opening weekend. Estimates put the film’s production budget near the $100 million mark. It doesn’t appear that international grosses will save “Cats” either as the film brought in $4.4 million for a debut global haul of just $10.9 million.
Corden’s co-star Jason Derulo has spoken out against the “Cats” critical backlash by telling TMZ, “Any time you defy what an art form is, any time you defy all rules, there's going to be some push-back, obviously. But it's an incredible piece of art done by some of the best people in the world. I am just excited for the people to actually see it because reviewers, I mean, what the hell do they know? Have they made a film ever in their life?”
Additional “Cats” actors like Robbie Fairchild have encouraged moviegoers to check out the movie despite negative critical and social media buzz. “Cats” has been the butt of jokes since its first trailer debuted over the summer and revealed a first look at the CGI fur used to turn the human actors into felines.
“When you think about ‘Avatar,’ when Avatar first came out, everyone was like, ‘Ooh, oh god!'” Fairchild said at the “Cats” premiere. “But I think ‘Avatar’ did pretty well. So I think we’re OK.”
Late night shows and concerts have been upended in recent weeks, but that isn't stopping James Corden and Elton John from providing fans with new entertainment in these quarantined times.
CBS announced that it will air a new primetime special from “Late Late Show” host Corden on Monday, March 30 at 10 p.m. ET, while John is gearing up to host a live concert special on Fox on March 29 at 9 p.m. ET.
The set of “Homefest: James Corden's Late Late Show Special” might be the comedian's garage, but the star-studded show will include musical performances from artists throughout the globe. South Korea's BTS will perform, as will Italy's Andrea Bocelli and London's Dua Lipa. Billie Eilish with FINNEAS and John Legend will also perform. All artists will stream their performances from their homes. David Blaine and Will Ferrell are among the other celebrities expected to appear in the special.
Music aside, Corden and his guests will urge viewers to follow government advice to socially isolate and stay healthy and will also provide details on how to donate money to The CDC Foundation and Feed the Children.
“Since 'The Late Last Show' came off the air, we have been thinking of different ways to try and make a show at this time,” executive producers Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe said in a statement. “With the help of some wonderful guests, we are going to try to put on the best show we can, to entertain, raise awareness, raise money and hopefully lift spirits. Shooting from James' garage may be far from perfect, but under the circumstances we hope it can help someone, somewhere, who needs some cheer right now.”
Like Corden's special, John's upcoming Fox show will feature an array of musical performances and will also encourage viewers to raise money for charitable organizations. Eilish also will perform during John's show, as will Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw, and others. All artists will perform at home and additional performers will be announced soon.
John's special will air during the iHeartRadio Music Awards' original broadcast timeslot and will be commercial-free. The program will encourage viewers to support Feeding America and the First Responders Children's Foundation, which help the ongoing pandemic's victims and first responders, respectively. Fox will offer the event across all of its linear and digital platforms to extend the reach of the special's charitable component.
A rumor cropped up online recently that Cats, Tom Hooper‘s huge flop featuring horny cat people introducing themselves for 110 minutes, originally had CGI buttholes on all the feline behinds. And even though Cats is already a fever-dream to begin with, we weren’t entirely sure how much credence to lend that story. Now, an intrepid journalist has done the legwork, and turned up the true story of the Cats butthole cut.
It’s official: the Cats butthole cut did, indeed, exist. The Daily Beast has the scoop, and let’s just say the true story is even wilder than we could’ve predicted. Per their report, Cats was halfway complete when someone finally noticed the buttholes. “We paused it,” a source who worked on the film’s visual effects said. “We went to call our supervisor, and we’re like, ‘There’s a fucking asshole in there! There’s buttholes!’ It wasn’t prominent but you saw it… And you [were] just like, ‘What the hell is that?… There’s a fucking butthole in there.’ It wasn’t in your face—but at the same time, too, if you’re looking, you’ll see it.”
What the hell is that, indeed. The source goes on to state that no one flat-out ordered buttholes added to the digital cat people – it just sort of happened. They materialized organically – as buttholes do sometimes. Unfortunately, when the buttholes started to be noticed, it fell upon one visual effects artist to go through and erase every sphincter.
Beyond the story of the butthole cut, The Daily Beast story paints a portrait of a terrible behind-the-scenes process for the visual effects folks working on the film. One source even goes so far as to compare it to “slavery.” And director Tom Hooper only made things worse, primarily because he didn’t seem to understand how VFX even worked:
Before visual effects artists fully render sequences for animated films, they normally show directors playblasts—preview renderings that feature characters without color or texture. That allows the director to evaluate the motion before hours of work are done to flesh out things like color, texture, and lighting. Hooper, however, did not seem to grasp that process. Any time the visual effects team wanted to show the director any animatics, the source said, they had to fully render it. Otherwise, he’d say things like, “What’s this garbage?” and “I don’t understand— where’s the fur?”
Sources describe Hooper as “disrespectful,” “demeaning,” “condescending,” and “horrible,” and add that he talked to everyone like “garbage.” In short, the experience of working with Hooper does not seem like it was the cat’s pajamas. It wasn’t even the cat’s meow.