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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Andrew Lloyd Webber didn’t like James Corden’s performance in Cats

Andrew Lloyd Webber has criticised James Corden’s performance in the movie adaptation of his musical Cats.The British actor-turned-chat show host played Bustopher Jones in Tom Hooper’s film alongside Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, and Judi Den…

Andrew Lloyd Webber has criticised James Corden’s performance in the movie adaptation of his musical Cats.

The British actor-turned-chat show host played Bustopher Jones in Tom Hooper’s film alongside Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, and Judi Dench, though the feature was critically panned upon its release in December.

Webber, who composed the stage musical based on the poetry of T. S. Eliot, recently gave a livestream commentary to accompany the 1998 filmed version of his production, and suggested he wasn’t a fan of Corden’s portrayal.

“Do not be beguiled by other versions,” Lloyd Webber said during Bustopher’s big scene. “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 added, noting that the poet “is making this wonderful, wonderful observation about the kind of big sort of guy who always had a routine and bustled around St. James, from club to club to club.”

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.

“This is a song about wit – not coarse jokes,” he continued. “It’s also about taking the song at the right speed.”

Lloyd Webber’s comments come after Corden opened up about the film’s poor reception during an interview with The New Yorker, admitting that he hadn’t actually watched the movie himself.

“I can’t imagine I’ll see it,” he said. “It’s important to say I had the best time making it. At some point you have to go, ‘How am I going to judge my own experience? Am I only going to have enjoyed something if it was successful?'”

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Billy Porter opens up about playing ‘genderless’ Fairy Godmother in Cinderella remake

Billy Porter has opened up about his decision to play the Fairy Godmother as “genderless” in the upcoming Cinderella remake.The Emmy-winning actor plays the iconic character in the live-action musical version of the fairytale, which stars Camila Cabell…

Billy Porter has opened up about his decision to play the Fairy Godmother as “genderless” in the upcoming Cinderella remake.

The Emmy-winning actor plays the iconic character in the live-action musical version of the fairytale, which stars Camila Cabello, Minnie Driver, Missy Elliott, Pierce Brosnan, and James Corden.

In a new interview with Variety Live, the 50-year-old star described his portrayal of the Fairy Godmother as “non-conforming” and explained his decision to play the character gender-free.

“Magic is genderless. We have all these sort of genders that we’ve put on things and it doesn’t actually matter,” Porter stated. “It’s not about sex. It’s not about sexuality. It’s not about gender. It’s about magic. It’s about being somebody’s fairy godmother, father, person, whatever you want to call it. That’s what it’s about.”

Production on the movie at Pinewood Studios near London was shut down last month due to the coronavirus outbreak, but the Pose star had already completed his work on the film.

Despite remaining secretive over what musical numbers he’s involved in, he did tease fans with small details about his character’s glamorous costume.

“It’s gold and there are pants, there are skirts, there are heels, there are cowl necks and wands and things,” he shared.

Elsewhere in the interview, Porter opened up about his upcoming role as the voice of man-eating plant Audrey II in the Little Shop of Horrors remake, which is also rumoured to be starring Scarlett Johansson as the meek and vulnerable Audrey.

“She’s a fantastic actress and her energy is right,” he gushed. “You need that kind of strong but vulnerable. It’s the dichotomy of that.”

Chris Evans has also reportedly signed up to play Audrey’s abusive dentist boyfriend Orin Scrivello, which Porter believes is a great casting decision.

“He’ll be hot, which is sort of what it needs to be. You need to understand why she stays in that abusive relationship,” he stated.

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Trolls World Tour breaks records with biggest digital release ever

Trolls World Tour has broken records by scoring the biggest opening weekend for a digital release.The sequel to the 2016 animated musical, featuring the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Sam Rockwell, and Kelly Clarkson, …

Trolls World Tour has broken records by scoring the biggest opening weekend for a digital release.

The sequel to the 2016 animated musical, featuring the vocal talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Sam Rockwell, and Kelly Clarkson, was due to be released in cinemas on 10 April.

However, while big-budget blockbusters, including No Time to Die, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II, and Mulan, were postponed after the Covid-19 outbreak led to cinema chains shuttering across the world, bosses at Universal decided to release Trolls World Tour on video-on-demand services for audiences to enjoy while self-isolating at home.

The movie has become the number one title on on-demand video platforms, such as Amazon, Comcast, Apple, and FandangoNOW, and Universal officials announced on Monday that Trolls World Tour had the biggest opening day and weekend for a digital title. They have not released official figures.

Cameron Douglas, head of FandangoNow, said that the animated sequel had generated the best weekend sales in the history of the streaming service.

“Following weeks of anticipation for its home premiere, Trolls World Tour is now FandangoNOW’s streaming debut champ, with the best pre-orders, first day and opening weekend sales we’ve ever seen,” he said in a statement. “We’re pleased that families looking for a much-needed entertainment break are enjoying DreamWorks Animation’s latest movie on our service.”

The movie, which was available to rent for $19.99 (£16) for 48 hours, was also available to 21 drive-in locations across the U.S.

Movies are traditionally shown in cinemas for around 90 days before being released on video-on-demand services.

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Cats dominates 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards

Cats has dominated the 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards, picking up six trophies including Worst Picture. Tom Hooper’s live-action movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, which starred the likes of Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Judi Dench…

Cats has dominated the 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards, picking up six trophies including Worst Picture.

Tom Hooper’s live-action movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, which starred the likes of Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Judi Dench, was a critical and commercial flop upon its release in December.

And on Monday night, the organisers of the Golden Raspberry Awards, also known as the Razzies, which are designed to send up the worst films of each year, gave out six prizes to the much-ridiculed musical.

In addition to being named Worst Picture, Hooper won the Worst Director category and his script with Lee Hall topped the Worst Screenplay shortlist. In addition, James Corden and Rebel Wilson won the worst supporting categories for their portrayals of Bustopher Jones and Jennyanydots, respectively, and Worst Screen Combo went to “any two half-feline/half-human hairballs”.

The only other film to receive multiple wins was Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo: Last Blood, which was named Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel and Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property.

Other “winners” included Hilary Duff, who was crowned Worst Actress for The Haunting of Sharon Tate, and John Travolta, who was named Worst Actor for his starring roles in The Fanatic and Trading Paint.

The only positive award of the night, the Razzie Redeemer Award, went to Eddie Murphy, who has been frequently nominated for the awards, for his portrayal of Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name.

The Razzies ceremony was scrapped on Saturday as a result of the growing coronavirus pandemic, so the organisers announced the “winners” via a press release on Monday.

The full list of 2020 Razzie ‘winners’ is:

Worst Picture – Cats

Worst Actor – John Travolta, The Fanatic and Trading Paint

Worst Actress – Hilary Duff, The Haunting of Sharon Tate

Worst Supporting Actress – Rebel Wilson, Cats

Worst Supporting Actor – James Corden, Cats

Worst Screen Combo – Any two half-feline/half-human hairballs, Cats

Worst Director – Tom Hooper, Cats

Worst Screenplay – Lee Hall and Tom Hooper, Cats

Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel – Rambo: Last Blood

Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property – Rambo: Last Blood

Razzie Redeemer Award – Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

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Production halted on Camila Cabello’s Cinderella movie

Production has been halted on the live-action Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello, due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.Bosses at Sony have pulled the plug on filming the re-imagining of the classic fairytale, which features a star-studded cast in…

Production has been halted on the live-action Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello, due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

Bosses at Sony have pulled the plug on filming the re-imagining of the classic fairytale, which features a star-studded cast including Billy Porter, Minnie Driver, Missy Elliott, Pierce Brosnan, and James Corden.

According to editors at Deadline, the crew were sent home from the project, which is based at Pinewood Studios near London, for two weeks.

Director Kay Cannon is helming the musical blockbuster, which also stars newcomer Nicholas Galitzine and British comedian Romesh Ranganathan, with Corden’s company Fulwell 73 producing.

Universal also confirmed it has sent home the crew from Jurassic World: Dominion, which was also filming at Pinewood.

“The Pinewood Group is continuing to follow guidance set out by the government, and the studios remain fully operational,” a statement from the studios read.

Matt Reeves’ The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson, and the third instalment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which are both filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in Hertfordshire, England, have also halted production as the Covid-19 outbreak escalates, with more than 1,500 reported cases and 55 deaths in the U.K. so far.

“At the moment, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden will remain open and operational. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will post any updates on our website,” the studios said in a statement.

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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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Peter Rabbit 2 release delayed due to coronavirus concerns – report

The release of family film Peter Rabbit 2 has reportedly been delayed until August due to the coronavirus outbreak.With cinemas in Italy and China, among others, closing in the hope of curbing the spread of the escalating virus, Sony bosses have report…

The release of family film Peter Rabbit 2 has reportedly been delayed until August due to the coronavirus outbreak.

With cinemas in Italy and China, among others, closing in the hope of curbing the spread of the escalating virus, Sony bosses have reportedly decided to put the release of the CGI/live-action film, the follow-up to 2018’s hugely successful Peter Rabbit, on ice for more than four months.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie, also known as Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, will no longer debut from 27 March as planned, and will instead receive an international and U.S. release on 7 August.

The move follows the delay to the release of the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, from the start of April until November.

Peter Rabbit 2 features James Corden as the voice of author Beatrix Potter’s mischievous bunny, with Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, and Elizabeth Debicki also voicing fellow rabbits, and Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, and David Oyelowo in live-action roles.

Some of the stars were scheduled to attend a premiere for the movie in London ahead of its release.

The decision comes after Italian officials announced that all its cinemas were to be closed, and other European governments advising people to take precautions to avoid the spread of the virus. Around 16 million people in Lombardy and 14 other provinces in Italy have been effectively placed in quarantine.

Insiders have told editors at The Hollywood Reporter that Sony officials wanted to delay the debut because Peter Rabbit made $236 million (£180 million) of its $351 million (£269 million) box office outside of North America, while the U.S. release has reportedly been shifted to avoid piracy.

Following the postponement of No Time to Die, the release of animated sequel Trolls World Tour was brought forward to 10 April.

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James Corden has ‘no regrets’ over Cats role

James Corden doesn’t regret appearing in box office flop Cats.The talk show host appeared as Bustopher Jones alongside Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Jason Derulo in the big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage classic, whic…

James Corden doesn’t regret appearing in box office flop Cats.

The talk show host appeared as Bustopher Jones alongside Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Jason Derulo in the big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage classic, which was panned by audiences and critics alike and bombed at the box office following its release in December.

During a game of Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts with Justin Bieber on The Late Late Show with James Corden, the host was asked, “On a scale of one to 10, how much do you regret doing Cats?”

The star either had to eat a bit of cod sperm or answer the question and, after a few seconds deliberating, he said: “Well, here’s the thing, I had the loveliest time making that film. It took me six days and I loved every single second of it. So, I think you gotta decide things on your own personal experience, and I had a really great time.

“I don’t regret doing it all, because I decided to do it in the same way I decided to do many things. Some have worked, some haven’t. Some I’m going to put it at a solid 5… a 4.5.”

Corden previously mocked Tom Hooper’s movie at the Oscars earlier this month, when he and co-star Rebel Wilson donned furry cat costumes before making their way onto the stage to present the award for Best Visual Effects.

“As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects,” they quipped, referencing the criticism directed at the digital fur technology used to make them look like felines in the movie.

Officials from the Visual Effects Society took issue with the skit and released a statement in which they labelled it “immensely disappointing”.

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