Watch This Before You See Cats

The movie adaptation of Cats will soon be
coming to a theater near you. With a star-studded cast and top-of-the-line
visual effects, it’s expected to bring in some major revenue at the box office. Here’s everything you need to know before
you head out to the theater. It’s well known that movie studios typically
release their films on strategic dates. For example, the beginning of the year and
the very end of summer are traditionally considered dumping grounds when studios release their
least ambitious films. Meanwhile, films released in the beginning
of summer or around major holidays are often big-budget blockbusters, like the latest entries
in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the Fast & the Furious franchise. And of course, films vying for Oscar nominations
are typically released around the end of the year to make sure the Academy remembers them
when it’s time to vote. As far as Cats goes, it is set to prowl into
theaters on December 20, 2019. Clearly, Universal Pictures is hoping that
its feline spectacle will be the main event at the box office during the holidays. It’s also possible that they’re even hoping
for some Oscar nods. The Cats cast is filled with an impressive
amount of A-list actors and extremely talented dancers. Jennifer Hudson will be playing the highly
coveted role of Grizabella, even though she’s a little young for the part. But given the vocal demands this role requires,
it’s a wise casting choice. As for the other elderly felines, Judi Dench
and Ian McKellen will star as Old Deuteronomy and Gus the Theater Cat, respectively. As for the feisty younger cats, Taylor Swift
will purr as the self-assured Bombalurina and Jason Derulo will slay as the alpha-tom
Rum Tum Tugger. Additionally, James Corden will have plenty
of swagger as Bustopher Jones, while Rebel Wilson will play the tap-dancing tabby Jennyanydots. The villain will be the debonair Idris Elba
as Macavity, and Laurie Davidson will bring the magic to Mr. Mistoffelees. Finally, the incredibly gifted ballet dancer
Francesca Hayward will dance her way into your heart as Victoria. What an insanely talented line-up! Taylor Swift is no stranger to performing,
and she didn’t hold back while preparing for her biggest acting role yet. As she revealed in an interview with Entertainment
Weekly, “I just fully committed and threw myself into
the process and had the most fun.” In particular, Swift and her fellow cats went
to a special kind of class to help them embody the feline spirit. She explained to EW, “We had this thing called ‘cat school’ that
was a class where you could learn about how to create the motions of cats, how to think
like they think, how to sense things the way that they do, carry yourself the way a cat
would.” “And I was only supposed to come in for, like,
three days of cat school, and I was there for four months.” If you aren’t already familiar with what happens
in Cats, here’s your spoiler warning, as we’re going to summarize the major plot points. “Can you tell me, or explain to me, what the
plot of Cats is?” “Uh wow, what a way to throw me under the
bus there.” The musical that the film is based on follows
the exploits of musically inclined felines who are part of a group called Jellicles. At the start of the show, the Jellicles are
all preparing for the Jellicle ball and the ritual that will follow it, wherein one lucky
kitty will be selected to be reborn into their next life. But before they get there, each of the principal
cats will have their chance to shine over the course of many musical and dance numbers. Once the second act rolls around, Macavity
commences with making a whole lot of mischief, and the elder feline Old Deuteronomy goes
missing. But before long, the elder cat is found when
the Jellicles band together to facilitate his rescue. And in the end, after all is said and done,
it’s Grizabella who’s chosen to be reborn, after a life of being shunned by her tribe. Don’t forget to bring your tissues for those
final scenes. If you’re a millennial or a Gen X-er, chances
are you remember when Cats was the king of Broadway musicals. Its impressive first Broadway run started
in 1982, and it lasted for nearly two decades until 2000. Alas, if you’re a member of the Gen Z cohort,
you may not remember all the TV commercials or just how inescapable the song “Memory”
was. But trust us, Cats really was that insanely
popular. And there would be no Cats without Broadway
mastermind Andrew Lloyd Webber, the legendary composer who’s also responsible for such shows
as The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar. Inspired by T.S. Eliot’s 1939 book Old Possum’s Book of Practical
Cats, Webber composed the musical himself, which premiered in London’s West End in 1981. The result was Eliot’s playful poetry in song
form, performed by the characters he dreamed up so many years ago. Now the ever-cherished Cats musical will finally
make its big screen debut, 80 years after Eliot put pen to paper. If you haven’t heard of the hip-hop musical
Hamilton and can’t sing along to every word on the soundtrack, then what have you even
been doing with your life the past few years? The massively successful musical took home
11 Tony Awards back in 2016, and has basically turned Broadway on its head. While most of that is due to the genius of
creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler definitely also deserves
his share of the credit, as he received one of Hamilton’s Tonys in recognition of his
inspired and kinetic choreography. Anyone who is a fan of both Hamilton and Cats
is in luck, as Blankenbuehler also did the choreography for the upcoming big-screen feline
spectacular. Judging by the trailer alone, the moves are
going to be pretty incredible, as the dance scenes we get a sneak peek at are rather jaw-dropping. Considering that Blankenbuehler also did the
choreography for the 2016 Broadway revival of Cats, there’s no better person for the
job. Like everyone else who’s starring in or working
on Cats, director Tom Hooper is the cream of the crop. The British filmmaker has a bounty of awards
to his name, including the coveted Academy Award for best achievement in directing. He brought that Oscar home for his work directing
the 2010 film The King’s Speech, which also earned the award for Best Picture. Hooper also received top honors from the Directors
Guild of America that year, and he was named British Director of the Year by the London
Film Critics’ Circle. Hooper is no one-trick pony, as he also received
major accolades for his visionary directing of the film adaptation of 2012’s Les Misérables. That film received eight Academy Award nominations
and won the Golden Globe for Best Picture, Musical, or Comedy. In addition to all that, Hooper has received
numerous Golden Globe Awards for his work in television. Now that he’s bringing his genius to the big
screen once again for Cats, chances are high that this film is going to be epic. “It’s a very timely story about the importance
of inclusion and redemption.” There are quite a few memorable songs on the
original Cats soundtrack besides the iconic “Memory.” Just to name a few, there’s “Mr. Mistoffelees,”
“The Rum Tum Tugger,” and “Macavity: The Mystery Cat.” If you’re already familiar with the soundtrack,
it’s hard not to sing the tunes out loud from just hearing the names of the songs. Fortunately for Cats groupies everywhere,
there’s going to be new music in the upcoming film. And it appears that it is going to be penned
by the Cat-man himself, Andrew Lloyd Webber. Back in January 2018, British columnist Baz
Bamigboye tweeted, “Meow! [Andrew Lloyd Webber] told me that
he has composed a new song for #TomHooper’s hoped for film of musical #Cats to be sung
by kitten Victoria.” That’s pretty exciting for musical buffs and
die-hard Andrew Lloyd Webber fans. Considering that the role of Victoria is played
by Francesca Hayward, the ballerina will have to prove that she has the vocal chops in addition
to her undeniable dance skills. By any standard of measurement, the original
Broadway run of Cats was a success. After the original production finished up,
there was a Broadway revival that opened in July 2016 and lasted into 2017. Altogether, the show is thought to have brought
a whopping $3 billion of revenue to the Big Apple. That makes it one of the highest-grossing
musicals in Broadway history. But unfortunately for live theater aficionados
everywhere, you can’t see Cats on Broadway anymore, at least not until the next hypothetical
revival. But with the theatrical release on the horizon,
Cats fans will eventually be able to revisit the show whenever they like in their living
rooms, which arguably makes up for the lack of the kitties on the Great White Way. It’s unclear if there are any contractual
restrictions in place in anticipation of the film version, so who knows if and when Cats
will return to the stage in the future. If you’re remotely familiar with Taylor Swift
beyond the fact that she’s one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, chances are that
you know she’s a self-proclaimed cat lover. Somehow she still manages to find time to
be a feline fanatic despite how in demand she constantly is. In an interview with Time magazine, she gushed, “I have cats. I’m obsessed with them. I love my cats so much that when a role came
up in a movie called Cats, I just thought, like, I gotta do this. Like, this is my calling in life to do this,
for the ladies.” So what is it about the feline persuasion
that Swift appreciates so much? As she explained to Time, “They’re very dignified. They’re independent. They’re very capable of dealing with their
own life.” That’s very true, except until it comes time
to scoop the litter box, as it’s the humans who have to deal with that! Swift isn’t the only member of the Cats cast
who’s 100 percent all in for this film. Idris Elba has also shared his enthusiasm
for the project, and he isn’t shy about his feelings whatsoever. He proclaimed to Vanity Fair, “It’s going to be spectacular. It’s one of the most successful musicals in
the world, and what I think Tom Hooper is doing to it is just magnifying what made it
magical on the stage.” Then in a subsequent interview with The Hollywood
Reporter, Elba declared, “I think it’s going to be incredible to see. I don’t want to give too much away, but I
think that the way that they’re visually making the cats into humans is going to be not seen
before.” Given Elba’s incredible acting abilities,
chances are that he’ll shine as the dark and dangerous Macavity. Hopefully the rest of the cast and crew members
are just as excited as Swift and Elba are, and we can’t wait to see the results of their
efforts! Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more List videos about your favorite
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