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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Rebel Wilson jokes about failure of Cats during 2020 BAFTAs

Rebel Wilson poked fun at the failure of her movie Cats as she presented an award at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday. The Pitch Perfect actress played Jennyanydots alongside the likes of Idris Elba, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Huds…

Rebel Wilson poked fun at the failure of her movie Cats as she presented an award at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday.

The Pitch Perfect actress played Jennyanydots alongside the likes of Idris Elba, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, which was savaged by critics and flopped at the box office following its release in December.

And as Wilson took to the stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall to present the award for Best Director while wearing a Prabal Gurung wrap dress that was half black and half glittery red, she made a joke at the film’s expense.

“Tonight is all about sustainability, so I made this dress from sewing my two old dresses together. The red is from that one time I didn’t win Miss Australia, and the black is from a funeral I just went to for the feature film Cats,” she said to laughter from the star-studded audience. “Cats. Strangely not nominated for any awards. I’m not sure if everyone here is across the controversy but this year there has been a distinct lack of nominations for felines. Yep, even in this Best Director ‘cat’-egory, no felines have been nominated. It’s really shocking.”

In her hilarious speech, one of the standout moments of the evening, Wilson reeled off the names of the Best Director nominees – Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese, Todd Phillips, Quentin Tarantino, and Bong Joon Ho – and joked about the fact that they are all men.

“I look at the exceptional, daring talent nominated in this category and I don’t think I could do what they do,” the Australian star quipped. “Honestly, I just don’t have the balls.”

Mendes received the prize for 1917, which dominated the evening with seven wins, including Best Film and Outstanding British Film.

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Taylor Swift has ‘no complaints’ about Cats

Taylor Swift has “no complaints” about appearing in box office flop Cats. The music superstar played Bombalurina alongside Idris Elba, James Corden, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-r…

Taylor Swift has “no complaints” about appearing in box office flop Cats.

The music superstar played Bombalurina alongside Idris Elba, James Corden, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical, while she also teamed up with the theatre mogul to create the original song Beautiful Ghosts.

The movie received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics ahead of its release in December and is considered a box office bomb, having so far grossed $61 million (£48 million) on a budget rumoured to be as high as $100 million (£77 million).

When asked about Cats in an interview with Variety, Taylor insisted the divisive reaction hasn’t taken away from the positive experience she had filming it.

“I’m happy to be here, happy to be nominated, and I had a really great time working on that weird-a*s movie,” she declared. “I’m not gonna retroactively decide that it wasn’t the best experience. I never would have met Andrew Lloyd Webber or gotten to see how he works, and now he’s my buddy. I got to work with the sickest dancers and performers. No complaints.”

Her co-stars have remained quiet about the film since it was released in cinemas. However, following early reactions from the critics, Jason Derulo defended the movie, telling TMZ.com that “reviews don’t matter”.

“It’s an incredible piece of art done by some of the best people in the world,” he said. “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?”

Swift and Lloyd Webber were nominated for a Golden Globe for Beautiful Ghosts but were beaten to the Best Original Song prize by Elton John and Bernie Taupin for (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again from Rocketman.

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Evan Rachel Wood blasts Cats with scathing review

Evan Rachel Wood has slammed Cats, telling her fans the movie is “actually worse than I thought it would be”.Tom Hooper’s star-studded movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical received scathing reviews from critics last week, and the Wes…

Evan Rachel Wood has slammed Cats, telling her fans the movie is “actually worse than I thought it would be”.

Tom Hooper’s star-studded movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical received scathing reviews from critics last week, and the Westworld actress added to the negative reaction on social media on Thursday.

“(Cats) is actually worse than I thought it would be. And I already thought it would be horrible. But….I am actually speechless. Why would you change the choreography? I…am SPEECHLESS,” she wrote, referencing the routines in the original stage musical.

Wood later deleted her tweet, as well as another post in which she stressed the cast, which includes Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Ian McKellen, weren’t to blame for the movie’s problems.

She then shifted to Instagram and posted an expletive-filled video of her “live reaction” to the film, in which she laughed and repeatedly exclaimed “What the f**k?!”

The star later went into detail about her misgivings with the movie, laying the blame with changes to choreography, plot, and characters.

“They changed all the iconic choreography. Took out 70 per cent of the main characters. Changed the plot. I grew up in theatre. I was married to a dancer. I have massive respect for what they do, which is why this was such a letdown and missed opportunity for that community,” the 32-year-old wrote, referencing her marriage to Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell.

Jason Derulo has defended the movie, in which he plays Rum Tum Tugger, telling TMZ.com that “reviews don’t matter” while James Corden, who plays Bustopher Jones, said on BBC Radio 2’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show that he hadn’t seen the film but had heard “it’s terrible”.

Following the overwhelmingly negative reviews, Universal bosses have removed Cats from its For Your Consideration page, meaning they are no longer putting it forward for awards consideration, while a source has told Variety that the film also isn’t featured on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ streaming platform, where members can watch Oscar contenders.

Cats has currently earned one nomination – the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for Beautiful Ghosts, written by Swift and Lloyd Webber.

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Cats getting visual effects update – report

Universal executives are reportedly sending movie theatres an updated version of Cats with improved visual effects. Tom Hooper’s star-studded adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics ahead…

Universal executives are reportedly sending movie theatres an updated version of Cats with improved visual effects.

Tom Hooper’s star-studded adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics ahead of its opening on Friday, and it was subsequently a flop at the U.S. box office, coming in fourth with takings of only $6.5 million (£4.9 million).

According to a copy of a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Universal executives notified thousands of theatres on the movie’s opening day that they will be receiving an updated version of the troubled film with “some improved visual effects”.

The updated movie was available to download Sunday via a satellite server, while cinema exhibitors who don’t have access to the server technology will receive the version via hard drive by Tuesday. Universal executives reportedly asked cinema officials to swap the prints over as soon as possible. They stated the movie’s running time will not be affected.

Cinema operators and Hollywood bosses have claimed the move is unheard of for a title that is finished and already released. Insiders noted the switch was being done at Hooper’s request.

The Les Miserables director revealed to Variety at the Cats world premiere in New York City last week that he had only completed the film the day before.

“I finished it at 8am yesterday after 36 hours in a row of putting finishing touches on, so I’m very happy to be here with it fully finished and we’ll let the audience decide,” he said.

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the filmmaker wanted to make more tweaks to certain CGI effects.

The musical, which stars Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, and Jason Derulo, is currently rated 18 per cent fresh by critics on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, while the audience score sits at 60 per cent.

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