'Cats' Trailer Stirs Vibrant Reactions From Social Media

Universal Studios released the trailer for Cats, Tom Hooper's adaptation of the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical. The trailer gave the first look at how Hooper and his team chose to bring the show to life for the big screen, relying heavily on computer-generated effects to turn stars James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift and more into anthropomorphised cats. Social media users were shocked by how it looks.

Twitter users made plenty of jokes about the film and its reliance on CGI instead of the elaborate make-up the original show is famous for.

The trailer centers on Jennifer Hudson's performance of the iconic song "Memory," with scenes from the movie flashing by. Fans get to see what Swift, Rebel Wilson, Corden, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo and Ray Winstone look like as cats. Newcomer Francesca Hayward also gets the spotlight as Victoria the White Cat, a physically demanding role that gives her a solo ballet number in the film.

This is the Nairobi-born Hayward's first film role. She is a ballerina and principal dancer in the Royal Ballet, joining in 2010. Hayward will perform a new song written by Lloyd Webber, and her casting forced her to take a leave of absence from the ballet.

"I am excited to announce that I am joining the cast of Universal Pictures & Working Title's new film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, directed by Tom Hooper," Hayward wrote on Instagram in November 2018. "I am hugely thankful to the Royal Ballet, especially Kevin O'Hare for supporting me on this new adventure."

Cats is based on the T.S. Eliot poetry collection Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It centers on a group of cats called the Jellicles making the Jellicle choice to decide who goes to the "Heaviside Layer" and comes back with a new life. Hooper wrote the screenplay with Lee Hall, who also worked on Rocketman and Billy Elliot.

Hooper won an Oscar for directing the 2010 Best Picture winner The King's Speech. He also directed the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables and the HBO miniseries John Adams.


Cats hits theaters on Dec. 20.

Photo credit: Universal Pictures