Along with the truly unforgettable trailer for Cats, Universal Pictures has also released the first poster for the “epic musical,” as it’s officially described. Oscar-winning The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper takes the reins of the long-running Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical, adapting it for the screen using “advanced fur technology.” Hooper previously put his own spin on a classic musical with 2012’s Les Miserables, which has its moments but kind of misses the point as Hooper went for gritty realism and live singing to very mixed bag results.
The approach for Cats, however, is just absolutely bonkers, and that’s on top of the fact that Cats is already a weird musical. The plot, so to speak, is basically just a bunch of cats singing their individual songs, trying to decide which of them gets to die. That’s it. That’s the story. For the movie, Hooper and his team have transformed a truly random assortment of celebrities into kind-of cats using visual effects. The result, as evidenced by the trailer, is quite possibly the horror movie event of the year.
The Cats poster boasts the tagline “You Will Believe,” which in the wake of that instantly iconic trailer feels more like a threat than anything else. Visually I’m still baffled about the proportion choices here. The cats stand up and move like humans, and yet are supposedly cat-sized on these oversized sets. But even then the sets feel somehow too big for actual cats? Like we’re in a weird Alice in Wonderland sort of world. How small does Tom Hooper think cats are?
Whatever Cats ends up being, I truly do admire the massively ambitious swing Hooper is taking here. Check out the poster below. The film stars James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, and introduces Francesca Hayward. Cats prowls into theaters on December 20th.