Don O’Neill steps away from THEIA label

Don O’Neill is no longer the creative director of THEIA. The Irish fashion designer launched the New York-based eveningwear and bridal label in 2009 and some of his creations became famous for being worn by the likes of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Opra…

Don O’Neill is no longer the creative director of THEIA.

The Irish fashion designer launched the New York-based eveningwear and bridal label in 2009 and some of his creations became famous for being worn by the likes of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, and Khloe Kardashian.

Over the weekend, O’Neill took to Instagram to reveal that THEIA was being restructured as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and he would subsequently no longer serve as creative director.

“All of our lives have been greatly impacted by the global pandemic of Covid-19, and It is with a heavy heart that I announce, THEIA is being re-structured and I, and many others will no longer be part of it,” he wrote.

“I created the brand from a flash of inspiration when THEIA, The goddess of light sparked in my mind 11 years ago. It has been an extraordinary journey… I set forth to design luxurious evening and bridal dresses, that would be cut and shaped to flatter all women, so that they would feel beautiful and confident, allowing their inner light to shine brightly, which I achieved with the love, support and guidance of so many many amazing people.”

The 54-year-old concluded his post by insisting he was remaining positive about the “new exciting chapter” in his life and revealing he was in the process of writing a memoir.

“During the lock down I began writing a book on my life story, it has been quite the journey so far and I look forward to seeing how the story continues,” he teased.

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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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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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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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Taylor Swift enjoyed the ‘weirdness’ of Cats

Taylor Swift really enjoyed the “weirdness” of starring in Cats.The Grammy-winning singer plays Bombalurina in Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running West End and Broadway musical, which is based on the poems of T. S. Eliot. And …

Taylor Swift really enjoyed the “weirdness” of starring in Cats.

The Grammy-winning singer plays Bombalurina in Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running West End and Broadway musical, which is based on the poems of T. S. Eliot.

And when quizzed by the 71-year-old if she was thinking about pursuing a career in Hollywood, Taylor was quick to shoot down any speculation she would be willing to put her singing on hold for the big screen.

“I have no idea,” she said in the interview with British Vogue. “I really had an amazing time with Cats. I think I loved the weirdness of it. I loved how I felt I’d never get another opportunity to be like this in my life.”

The 30-year-old also co-wrote the new song Beautiful Ghosts with Andrew for the movie, which also stars Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson and Rebel Wilson, and impressively completed the track during an afternoon of rehearsals.

Writing the lyrics practically on the spot alongside the theatre mogul, Taylor explained that she needed to connect with the unusual storyline of the musical to bring it to life in the song.

“I think (writing) is really important – also from the side of ownership over what you do and make. Even if you aren’t a natural writer, you should try to involve yourself in the messages you’re sending,” she said.

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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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Tom Hooper didn’t finish Cats until day before its world premiere

Tom Hooper was still working on his movie adaptation of stage classic Cats up until the day before its world premiere.The big screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and Jason Derulo, had its…

Tom Hooper was still working on his movie adaptation of stage classic Cats up until the day before its world premiere.

The big screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and Jason Derulo, had its world premiere in New York on Monday night.

Speaking to Variety on the red carpet, Hooper revealed it really was the first time anyone had seen the movie – as he was still adding the finishing touches on Sunday morning.

“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. “I think we’ve come a long way since our first trailer.”

He went on to acknowledge that his last-minute approach is pretty unusual in the film industry, adding: “Premieres should be the first time people get to see it and this is genuinely a premiere.”

After the first trailer was released to divided opinion back in July, Hooper explained in an interview with Empire magazine that they had only finished filming in March and the visual effects, which involve covering the actors in digital fur, were still being worked on.

“All the visual effects were at quite an early stage,” the 47-year-old said. “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 opens in theatres 20 December.

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