Cats is a ridiculous premise of a story. Even Hal Prince, a father of modern musical theater, didn’t get it. It’s basically a the first third of a heist movie where we meet all the characters for three hours. So it makes perfect sense that the trailer was met with extreme skepticism. This is a sign of a healthy populace.
However, the producers don’t care about your jokes, mean tweets and memes! “The reality is that 100 million people or more saw the trailer, and, yes, there were some people that didn’t like it, and as is the world we live in, those who didn’t like it were the most vociferous,” Eric Fellner, head of production studio Working Title, told Variety.
Basically, people who know Cats were fine. “They were probably people who didn’t know ‘Cats,’ and the fact is they were either anticipating something animated or something that was on four legs. Among people who know ‘Cats,’ the reaction was pretty solid,” Tim Bevan, the other head of Working Title, said.
But there’s something even more troubling further down in this interview: The dancers originally wore real (!) prosthetics (!!). “When we first started talking about ‘Cats,’ they were looking at putting prosthetics on the actors,” Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, told Variety. “There were all sorts of technical problems with dancers overheating and not being able to keep the fur on. It didn’t look good, so they went away and solved things.”
As someone who does know Cats and has strong opinions: We should only be asking the people involved with making Cats about the prosthetic fur. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.
The trailer (and I’m assuming the movie) is creepy because the stage musical is creepy. The movie is going to make millions of dollars and probably nab Taylor Swift at least an Oscar nomination. All of these things can still be true!
We the public still deserve to have details about why a production company original put prosthetic fur on dancers.