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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Tom Hooper ‘grateful’ for mixed response to first Cats trailer

Tom Hooper is grateful for the harsh response the first Cats trailer received as it helped him change some elements of the film.In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Les Miserables director confessed he was “entertained” by the polarising reac…

Tom Hooper is grateful for the harsh response the first Cats trailer received as it helped him change some elements of the film.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Les Miserables director confessed he was “entertained” by the polarising reaction the preview clip garnered on social media when it dropped back in July and was motivated to work more on the special effects that transformed stars such as Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, and Taylor Swift into felines.

Hooper added that he used some of the feedback to redesign “every single cat to some extent, whether small or large”.

“I think probably my original dream to use a lot of the human face had gotten perhaps a bit lost in that process of rushing to make that first trailer,” he explained, noting that he wanted to emphasise the more human features in each cat’s face.

“I really concentrated on bringing back the actors’ faces because when you’ve got Ian McKellen or Judi Dench or Taylor Swift, why would you not want to? I don’t know if that’s what the comments were asking for, but what I took from it was that I needed to reconnect with my original plan and make sure I was delivering on that.”

The filmmaker, who won an Academy Award for The King’s Speech in 2011, also noted that his team had tested out prosthetics on the actors, similar to those used in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running stage musical, but they fell flat.

Accordingly, Hooper decided to use visual effects, keeping the actors’ facial expressions while adding tails, whiskers, and fur – though he had to wait for the technology to catch up to his vision.

“Even three years ago, when I described what I wanted to do, people said, ‘It’s not technically possible,'” the 47-year-old recalled.

Cats, also starring James Corden, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, and Francesca Hayward, hits cinemas from 20 December.

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Cats receives scathing reviews

Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Cats has received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics.The movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical was subject to ridicule when the trailer first dropped in July, with social media users poking fu…

Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Cats has received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics.

The movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical was subject to ridicule when the trailer first dropped in July, with social media users poking fun at the digital fur technology used to make the actors – including Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, Judi Dench, and Taylor Swift – look more like felines.

Despite Hooper making changes to the film based on the feedback, he didn’t do enough to win over critics, according to reviews published on Thursday morning.

“Nine may not be enough lives for some of the stars to live down their involvement in this poorly conceived and executed adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical,” read Peter Debruge’s review in Variety. “This uneven eyesore turns out to be every bit the Jellicle catastrophe the haters anticipated, a half-digested hairball of a movie in which Hooper spends too much energy worrying about whether the technology is ready to accommodate his vision and not enough focusing on what millions love about the musical in the first place.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney called the actors’ appearance “off-putting”, criticised the film’s “aesthetic ugliness”, and said Jennifer Hudson “massacred” her character Grizabella’s key song, Memory.

Tim Robey from Britain’s Daily Telegraph gave it zero stars and described it as “an all-time disaster – a rare and star-spangled calamity which will leave jaws littered across floors and agents unemployed,” adding, “With its nightmare production design and nauseating lurches in scale and perspective, it might be the ugliest big-screen musical sequence ever mounted.”

Peter Bradshaw from Britain’s The Guardian gave it one star and called it “a purr-fectly dreadful hairball of woe” and Johnny Oleksinski at the New York Post wrote that Hooper had “completely abandoned the fundamentals of what made Cats a terrific show: sublime music, captivating dance and an intoxicating atmosphere.”

Cats opens in cinemas on Friday.

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Judi Dench teased Idris Elba over James Bond role while filming Cats

Judi Dench teased Idris Elba over the possibility of him playing James Bond while they were filming Cats.The film and theatre icon stars as Old Deuteronomy in the big screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit stage musical, alongside Ian McKellen,…

Judi Dench teased Idris Elba over the possibility of him playing James Bond while they were filming Cats.

The film and theatre icon stars as Old Deuteronomy in the big screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit stage musical, alongside Ian McKellen, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, and Taylor Swift.

During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Dench confessed that she tried to make fun of the speculation surrounding Elba playing the famous MI6 super spy, following Daniel Craig’s retirement from the role.

“I knew he was up for it and in Cats I had the line to him ‘You’ll never get to the Heaviside Layer’ but, during rehearsals, I said, ‘You’ll never get to MI6,” Dench quipped.

“But, I think he might,” she cryptically added, before confessing that she’d taken a shine to the 47-year-old star, who plays Macavity in the musical movie. “Well, of course! Why ever not?” the 85-year-old laughed.

Dench played M, head of MI6, from 1995 until her much-loved character was killed off by Javier Bardem’s villain Raoul Silva in 2012’s Skyfall, although she had a cameo appearance in 2015’s Spectre.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Hollywood veteran revealed that she was surprised when she saw her character Old Deuteronomy, which is traditionally a male role, brought to life because it reminded her of one of her own pets.

“It came as a surprise, but it’s still a clapped-out old cat,” she laughed. “I thought I knew the kind of cat I was, but when I saw the film, I realised I had turned into Carpet – a cat I once had that was a huge orange bruiser!”

Cats debuts in theatres 20 December.

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Judi Dench sent Taylor Swift candy during Cats shoot

Judi Dench supplied Taylor Swift with candy while they were working on the upcoming movie adaptation of Cats.The pair star alongside Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s big screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webbe…

Judi Dench supplied Taylor Swift with candy while they were working on the upcoming movie adaptation of Cats.

The pair star alongside Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s big screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic stage musical.

Speaking with British Vogue magazine, Swift revealed her veteran co-star made her feel right at home during the shoot and even had her favourite candy sent to her dressing room after discovering she was a fan.

“She’s lovely. I remember being on set, and there is one scene that Idris and I do with Judi, and someone walked up to me with this kind of gummy candy and I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve never had this before, this must be British candy, this is amazing,'” she recalled in the joint interview with Lloyd Webber. “I was raving about this candy so much and Judi must have overheard me, because the next day I got to my dressing room and there was a signed photo from Judi and, like, six bags of it.”

Elsewhere in the chat, the composer revealed he wanted the part of Old Deuteronomy to be written as a woman so Dench could have a part, as she was supposed to originate the role of Grizabella in the stage musical but had to withdraw after she snapped her Achilles tendon.

“I had this idea, which I ran past Tom, that we could make Old Deuteronomy a woman. Seeing her perform this time was quite an emotional thing for me, because it was a very, very sad day when she had to leave the original show.”

Cats hits cinemas from 19 December.

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Rebel Wilson constantly made rude jokes while filming Cats

Rebel Wilson constantly made double entendre jokes on the set of Cats, according to her co-star Jason Derulo. The Pitch Perfect actress plays Jennyanydots alongside the singer as Rum Tum Tugger in Tom Hooper’s upcoming film adaption of Andrew Lloyd We…

Rebel Wilson constantly made double entendre jokes on the set of Cats, according to her co-star Jason Derulo.

The Pitch Perfect actress plays Jennyanydots alongside the singer as Rum Tum Tugger in Tom Hooper’s upcoming film adaption of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular stage musical, which also stars Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and Taylor Swift.

Wilson is known for her comedic talents and ability to improvise, and she apparently kept trying to get lewd jokes about female genitalia into the movie.

“I had an amazing time working with Rebel. She is just hilarious. ‘Basically, the entire time she was doing all of these p**sy jokes,” he said in an interview with Australia’s The Kyle and Jackie O Show, adding that he’s unsure if any of the jokes will make the cut in the family-friendly film.

“I don’t know how many are going to make the movie, man, but she was going in on all the double entendres jokes,” he continued.

To prepare for filming, the actors went to “cat school” to learn how to move like the felines. In addition, digital fur was added to their appearance in the post-production phase to make them look more like cats.

And during the interview, the Talk Dirty singer, who makes his movie debut with the musical, explained how he found his character’s movements.

“My character’s Rum Tum Tugger, so when I’m peeling back the layers of who Rum Tum Tugger is, I have to decide what mannerisms I want to use,” the 30-year-old shared. “You know different characters have different personalities and they act differently. I have to decide what mannerisms match my cat. It’s a daily process. It’s not just something that you can do overnight.”

Cats hits cinemas from 19 December.

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Tom Hooper was entertained by reaction to Cats trailer

Director Tom Hooper found the reaction to the trailer for his upcoming movie Cats “quite entertaining” because he didn’t think there was anything controversial about it. The first promo for Hooper’s film adaptation of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber m…

Director Tom Hooper found the reaction to the trailer for his upcoming movie Cats “quite entertaining” because he didn’t think there was anything controversial about it.

The first promo for Hooper’s film adaptation of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical dropped in July, and soon went viral on social media after it was revealed the stars of the movie – including Idris Elba, Judi Dench, and Taylor Swift – were covered in CGI fur to make them look more like felines.

Speaking about the reaction for the first time, the Les Miserables director told Empire magazine that he found the response unexpected but quite amusing.

“I was just so fascinated because I didn’t think it was controversial at all,” he said. “So, it was quite entertaining. Cats was apparently the number-one trending topic in the world, for a good few hours at least.”

Many social media users criticised the introduction of digital fur technology, a new technique created for the film, and found seeing human actors digitally covered in fur to be rather creepy.

Hooper has revealed that the visual effects were still in the early stages at the time the trailer dropped and the feedback helped inform the post-production process.

“We’d only finished shooting in March, so all the visual effects (in the trailer) were at quite an early stage,” the filmmaker explained. “Possibly there were, in the extremity in some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving (the production). When you watch the finished film, you’ll see that some of the designs of the cats have moved on since then, and certainly, our understanding of how to use the technology to make them work has gone up, too.”

Cats, which also stars Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, and James Corden, hits cinemas from 19 December.

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