Andrew Lloyd Webber slams ‘ridiculous’ Cats movie

Andrew Lloyd Webber has called the Cats movie adaptation “ridiculous”. The film adaptation of Lloyd Webber’s classic stage musical, which featured a star-studded cast including Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and Rebel Wilson, was savaged by…

Andrew Lloyd Webber has called the Cats movie adaptation “ridiculous”.

The film adaptation of Lloyd Webber’s classic stage musical, which featured a star-studded cast including Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and Rebel Wilson, was savaged by audiences and critics alike when it was released in December and became a box office flop.

In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, the theatre mogul placed the blame squarely on director Tom Hooper for failing to involve people who were in the original stage production.

“The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided, as he had with Les Mis, that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show,” he stated. “The whole thing was ridiculous.”

Back in June, the Cats composer had hinted during a livestream commentary to accompany the 1998 filmed version of his production that he was unimpressed with Corden’s portrayal of Bustopher Jones, a comedy character who was the target of fat jokes in the movie.

“Do not be beguiled by other versions. Other versions with unfunny interpolations which I begged to be cut out… I did manage to get the worst removed… I cannot tell you how absolutely un-Eliot it all was, in this song,” Lloyd Webber said during Bustopher’s big scene, referencing his own inspiration, T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

While he didn’t mention Corden by name, he made clear reference to the 2019 film when he said, “He certainly didn’t hang around on a seesaw,” as he rolled his eyes. He added, “This is a song about wit – not coarse jokes.”

Last week, many Twitter users interpreted Lloyd Webber’s tribute to late director Alan Parker, who helmed the movie adaptation of Evita, as a subtle criticism of Hooper.

“My friend and collaborator on the Evita movie and one of the few directors to truly understand musicals on screen,” he wrote.

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Elaine Paige: ‘Cats lacked choreography’

Elaine Paige was disappointed Tom Hooper’s Cats didn’t have the same “wonderful choreography” as the stage version. The British singer/actress, who originally starred as Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical hit when it premiered in 1981, has sh…

Elaine Paige was disappointed Tom Hooper’s Cats didn’t have the same “wonderful choreography” as the stage version.

The British singer/actress, who originally starred as Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical hit when it premiered in 1981, has shared that while she enjoyed the 2019 movie adaptation, she felt it lacked the impressive dance routines that made the stage version so spectacular.

“It’s interesting, despite its formidable cast, I think somehow it lost… for me, what’s interesting was what made the show unusual was that wonderful choreography from Gillian Lynne,” Elaine told presenter Lorraine Kelly on U.K. TV show Good Morning Britain. “I think that was passed over a bit. I mean there was dancing in it obviously.

“But in the show, in the theatre version, it very much is a dance show. All that wonderful mix of ballet and modern, all the different styles coming together and I missed that in the film.”

The movie boasted an impressive cast including Taylor Swift, James Corden, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, and Idris Elba. However, it was savaged by critics for its strange and inconsistent computer-generated graphics, and Elaine admitted she certainly wasn’t a fan of the digital effects.

“I did think there was some great performances but there was a lot of talk of it being digital technology and all of this kind of thing and then you see somewhere through the movie human hairless fingers pop up into the screen, it kind of threw it for me,” she said. “To see these people with lots of hair and fur flying about the place, all the proportions were slightly off. It didn’t quite work for me in the same way as the theatre version, but obviously I’m biased!”

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Tilda Swinton to be honoured at Venice Film Festival

Tilda Swinton will be honoured for her career achievements at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. The Michael Clayton actress has been selected to receive the Golden Lion for career achievement at the Italian festival, which is the first major film festival…

Tilda Swinton will be honoured for her career achievements at the 2020 Venice Film Festival.

The Michael Clayton actress has been selected to receive the Golden Lion for career achievement at the Italian festival, which is the first major film festival to hold a physical edition following the coronavirus crisis.

“This great festival has been dear to my heart for three decades: to be honoured by her in this way is extremely humbling,” said Swinton in a statement, reports Variety. “To come to Venice, this year of all years, to celebrate immortal cinema and her defiant survival in the face of all the challenges that evolution might throw at her – as at us all – will be my sincere joy.”

Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera added that the British actress was being honoured for “her commanding and incomparable personality, uncommon versatility, and an ability to pass from the most radical art-house cinema to big Hollywood productions, without ever eschewing her inexhaustible need to bring to life unclassifiable and uncommon characters”.

She will be honoured alongside Hong Kong filmmaker Ann Hui, whose films A Simple Life and The Golden Era previously premiered at the festival, which is currently scheduled to take place between 2 and 12 September.

Swinton recently got back to work shooting The Human Voice with Pedro. She’s also set to star in Australian director George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing alongside Idris Elba.

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Idris Elba teases Luther movie details

Idris Elba drove fans wild after declaring a Luther film was close to being in the works.The 47-year-old last appeared as DCI John Luther in the hit BBC television show in January last year, and revealed the detective could be making his movie debut in…

Idris Elba drove fans wild after declaring a Luther film was close to being in the works.

The 47-year-old last appeared as DCI John Luther in the hit BBC television show in January last year, and revealed the detective could be making his movie debut in the future.

During a Q&A session with multiple media outlets over Zoom to promote the third series of his semi-autobiographical comedy In The Long Run, Idris was asked about the future of troubled detective Luther.

“There isn’t a real formal plan for Luther at the moment,” he said. “I’ve made it very clear that I’d like to see Luther come back as a film. And I can tell you this; that we are this close to making a film of Luther.”

The Thor: Ragnarok star made his debut as the detective in 2010, and while the fifth season of the crime drama ended on a huge cliffhanger last year with the apparent death of Ruth Wilson’s genius psychopath Alice Morgan, there have been no plans as yet to renew the show for a sixth series.

Back in 2018, Idris revealed he and series creator Neil Cross had discussed the possibility of developing Luther into a big-screen feature.

“Luther has all the ingredients to echo those classic films of the ‘90s like Seven and Along Came A Spider and I think what we’d like to attempt is use that as a blueprint to create it,” he told British newspaper the Metro.

“It will be more murder, more Volvos, more frowning Luther. Essentially we just want to try and take it to a much bigger remit and scale and perhaps international as well,” he added.

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Hugh Jackman turned down role in Cats

Hugh Jackman turned down the opportunity to appear in Cats. Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, and Rebel Wilson, was savaged by critics and audiences upon its release in De…

Hugh Jackman turned down the opportunity to appear in Cats.

Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, and Rebel Wilson, was savaged by critics and audiences upon its release in December.

But during a new interview with The Daily Beast to support his HBO movie Bad Education, Jackman revealed his good friend Hooper, whom he worked with on 2012 movie musical Les Miserables, had approached him about a role. However, he had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.

When the interviewer asked, “Did you turn down a role in Cats?” and he cautiously replied, “Umm… yep.”

When pushed for which cat he was approached to play, Jackman said, “You know, Tom rang me early on because we did Les Mis together, and there were a couple of options there based on availability and time, and I really… yeah, I just wasn’t available at the time.”

The reporter then asked if he was glad about his decision, given the ridicule the movie has received, the Australian actor stuck by his friend and refused to poke fun at the picture.

“I’m in the theatre, man, and I don’t want to be in the business of bashing people – or jumping on bandwagons. I haven’t seen it, and Tom Hooper’s one of the great filmmakers we have,” the 51-year-old stated.

Elsewhere in the interview, the X-Men star was asked if he would be interested in returning to the character of Wolverine now that Fox and Disney have merged, opening up more possibilities for the X-Men universe.

“If seven years ago that had happened I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah!’ but I knew it was the right time for me to leave the party – not just for me, but for the character. Somebody else will pick it up and run with it. It’s too good of a character not to,” he commented.

Jackman made his final appearance as Wolverine in 2017’s Logan.

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Visual effects artists spent more time on Cats trailer than whole movie – report

An anonymous visual effects artist has claimed the VFX team spent more time creating the trailer for Cats than the movie itself.Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, and Rebel …

An anonymous visual effects artist has claimed the VFX team spent more time creating the trailer for Cats than the movie itself.

Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, and Rebel Wilson, was savaged by critics, who slated the computer-generated effects, plot, and tone. The film was a box office flop upon its release in December.

But an anonymous source who worked in the Cats visual effects (VFX) department has now spoken out and given a candid account of the troubles the team experienced during production to The Daily Beast.

In the report, the source claimed the team spent six months making the film’s two-minute trailer, leaving them around four months to complete the entire film.

“It was pure, almost slavery for us, how much work we put into it with no time, and everything was difficult,” they said. “We were so rushed on the project that we’d have no time for anything. So when people say, ‘Oh, the effects were not good,’ or ‘The animation’s not good,’ or anything, that’s not our fault. We have no time. Six months to do a two-minute trailer and four months to do a film of an hour and a half. My math is pretty good… You could figure that doesn’t make any sense.”

The source allegedly worked 90-hour weeks for months to get the film complete, while others slept in the office to work on the projects for days. The insider was also critical of Hooper, calling him “horrible” and alleging he delayed the team by having them fully render works in progress or by asking to see videos of actual cats performing the same actions as their fictional ones.

The source also confirmed the rumour about the “butthole cut”, revealing that the movie was halfway complete when they noticed the feline characters had been given buttholes – so one VFX artist was hired to digitally remove them.

“When we were looking at the playbacks, we were like, ‘What the hell? You guys see that?!… There’s a f**king butthole in there’… There was nobody that said, ‘We want buttholes.’ It was one of those things that just happened and slipped through,” they added.

Representatives for Hooper and Universal have not yet responded to the comments.

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Idris Elba rode out horse allergy to shoot new western

Idris Elba’s allergy to horses didn’t stop him from saddling up for new movie Concrete Cowboys.The upcoming film is inspired by Greg Neri’s 2011 book Ghetto Cowboy, which follows 15-year-old Cole, who is taken to live with his estranged father Harp, as…

Idris Elba’s allergy to horses didn’t stop him from saddling up for new movie Concrete Cowboys.

The upcoming film is inspired by Greg Neri’s 2011 book Ghetto Cowboy, which follows 15-year-old Cole, who is taken to live with his estranged father Harp, as played by Elba, in North Philadelphia, where he discovers the city’s urban cowboy subculture.

The movie is also inspired by the real-life Fletcher Street Stables, a black urban horsemanship community which has existed there for more than 100 years.

While the British star was excited to shoot the flick, he admitted in a new interview with The Sun that it meant he had to power through his equine allergy.

“The stables have been there for hundreds of years and have communities within them,” Elba told the newspaper. “I’m allergic to horses but I really enjoyed learning how to ride and understanding how the people lived.”

Stranger Things actor Caleb McLaughlin will take on the part of Cole, while the film will also feature Moonlight’s Jharrel Jerome, Orange Is the New Black’s Lorraine Toussaint, and The Chi actor Byron Bowers.

Ricky Staub makes his feature directorial debut on the movie, with Elba producing via his Green Door Pictures banner alongside Neri, Lee Daniels, and screenwriter Dan Walser.

A release date for Concrete Cowboys has not yet been announced.

Elba is also in the pre-production phases of Jeymes Samuel’s directorial debut, The Harder They Fall, and George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing, also featuring Tilda Swinton.

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Seth Rogen live-tweets as he watches Cats for the first time

Seth Rogen kept fans entertained on Tuesday night by tweeting a live commentary on the movie Cats as he watched it for the first time. Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, which starred the likes of Judi Dench, Idris Elb…

Seth Rogen kept fans entertained on Tuesday night by tweeting a live commentary on the movie Cats as he watched it for the first time.

Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, which starred the likes of Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Rebel Wilson, was slated by critics in December and subsequently became a box office flop.

While self-isolating due to the coronavirus, Rogen decided to spend his time catching up with the much-ridiculed film, and he decided to live-tweet his reaction to it, much to the delight of his followers.

“I’m pretty stoned and watching Cats. I’ve never seen the Broadway show. It is truly trippy. Am I supposed to know what a Jellicle (cat) is? They’ve said it 200,000 times but I don’t know what’s happening haha,” he began, referring to the fictional type of cats which star in the film. “Also the scale is bizarre. The behind the scenes features, which are amazing, said the set is 2.5 times scale but that would mean cats are like 60 pounds in real life!”

The Knocked Up star continued to note his issues with the scale of the piece, which was designed to make the human actors look cat-sized, as well as certain wardrobe decisions, such as only certain cats wearing high heels or trousers.

“These cats are like 2 feet tall in this world. That’s a huge f**king cat,” he wrote, while another highlight included, “Judi Dench is in a cat fur coat which I can only assume is socially APPALLING in this world.”

He also poked fun in the content of the movie, by writing, “‘Let’s make 35 nonsense songs introducing cats!’ – The makers of cats,” as well as the special effects, by posting, “Ian Mckellan (sic) just straight up has normal fingers.”

However, he decided to leave one particular actor out of his critique – “Out of respect, I’ll leave Idris out of all this.”

During his commentary, a follower shared that her friend, who works in special effects, was hired to remove CGI buttholes from the cats, and Seth responded, “Release the Butthole Cut of Cats!!”

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Judi Dench still hasn’t seen Cats

Judi Dench still hasn’t seen her critically-panned movie Cats.The highly-anticipated movie, which featured a star-studded cast including Idris Elba, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Rebel Wilson, was mauled by critics upon its release i…

Judi Dench still hasn’t seen her critically-panned movie Cats.

The highly-anticipated movie, which featured a star-studded cast including Idris Elba, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Rebel Wilson, was mauled by critics upon its release in December.

The big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit stage musical, which was directed by Tom Hooper, had a budget of more than $100 million (£81 million), but grossed just $76 million (£62 million) worldwide, making it a box office flop.

However, Judi has now revealed she is unaware of the furore surrounding the movie and hasn’t even seen it.

“I didn’t read anything about the response to it, nor have I seen it,” the 85-year-old told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row show, noting that she is unable to watch it as she suffers from macular degeneration, which has left her with blurred vision.

The Oscar-winning British actress has only seen a photo of herself playing the Jellicle tribe leader Old Deuteronomy, and she was shocked to see herself looking like a glamorous feline, thanks to the digital fur technology used in post-production to make the actors look more like cats.

“I’ve only seen a picture of myself (from the film). I once had a cat (who looked) like that, called Carpet, and I didn’t realise I was playing Carpet. I thought I was playing a kind of, you know, mangier cat who didn’t have much fur. I didn’t realise I was this wonderful show cat!” she laughed.

Judi also had no idea she was nominated in the Worst Supporting Actress category at the Golden Raspberry Awards, which ‘honours’ the worst films and performances of the year, and joked that she was pleased to have landed her first-ever Razzie nomination.

“Oh, am I? That would be good! As far as I know, that’s a first!” she quipped.

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James Gunn reflects on ‘hard time’ while filming The Suicide Squad

James Gunn has reflected on the emotionally challenging time he had while filming The Suicide Squad.The Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker began production on the highly-anticipated follow-up to the 2016 movie last year, with original stars Margot Robbi…

James Gunn has reflected on the emotionally challenging time he had while filming The Suicide Squad.

The Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker began production on the highly-anticipated follow-up to the 2016 movie last year, with original stars Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Viola Davis returning to the DC Comics saga, alongside newcomers John Cena, Idris Elba, and Taika Waititi.

Gunn celebrated the end of filming The Suicide Squad with a touching post on Instagram on Saturday in which he revealed that he had a hard time helming the project while grieving the loss of his father and his pet dog.

“And that’s a wrap on #TheSuicideSquad,” he wrote alongside a snap of the entire cast and crew. “My father died two weeks before we started filming and my dog died two weeks before the end. It was a hard, hard time in my life and yet the most fulfilling time I’ve ever had making a movie.”

The 53-year-old writer and director also honoured the star-studded cast, which also includes Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, Pete Davidson, Nathan Fillion, and Michael Rooker in mysterious roles.

“The professionalism, talent, compassion and kindness of this cast and crew inspired me every day. Thanks to everyone involved in this film, in every stage of development, in every department – I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for you all. You are why I make movies,” Gunn concluded his emotional post.

The Suicide Squad will hit cinemas in August 2021.

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