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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