Cats Director Reveals His Initial Response to Internet Backlash

When the trailer for the feature film adaptation of the Broadway musical Cats first arrived earlier this year, the Internet absolutely lost its mind. No one knew what to do with the promo for the new musical, which featured some of the biggest stars in the world as CGI'd cats singing and dancing on two legs. The trailer was instantly a phenomenon for nearly all the wrong ways. It was the top trend on Twitter almost instantly. The backlash has been very real, which really surprised director Tom Hooper.

Speaking with Empire for one of the very first interviews about the film, Hooper shared his reaction to the trailer backlash, saying it took him back a bit. He didn't seem too upset about it, though, as he found the whole situation entertaining.

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

According to Hooper, the effects featured in the Cats trailer were far from the finished product, so the team has been tweaking and improving the look of the film ever since. The director went on to admit that they have actually listened to some of the feedback from the trailer and used it to help make adjustments to the film.

“We’d only finished shooting in March, so all the visual effects [in the trailer] were at quite an early stage,” he added. “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.”

The conversation surrounding Cats has been an interesting one, to say the last, but it likely won't help the film's chances at the box office. Cats opens in theaters on the same day as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which doesn't bode well for its overall performance.

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Cats arrives in theaters on December 20th.