The Cats movie made a wild impression on social media when it released its first trailer in July. Everybody was talking about this movie but they weren't talking about it for the reasons the studio and filmmakers would have hoped. After seeing such stars as Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and others transformed into feline beings in line with the popular Broadway musical, those who watched the Cats trailer were forever changed. The celebrities became the titular animals through "digital fur technology" but it was all pretty ridiculous looking and hard to take serious in any way. The filmmakers were listening and, as a result, the visual effects have been changed.
“I was just so fascinated because I didn’t think it was controversial at all," Cats director Tom Hooper told Empire. Hooper admits that the team skimmed through the responses which overwhelmed social media when that first trailer dropped and found "in the extremity in some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving [the production]," adding that the film had only wrapped production recently, possibly resulting in premature release of the first look. "We’d only finished shooting in March, so all the visual effects [in the trailer] were at quite an early stage."
The designs in Cats "have moved on since then, and certainly our understanding of how to use the technology to make them work has gone up, too."
Ultimately, Hooper doesn't seem to have any hard feelings about the reaction to the Cats trailer. “It was quite entertaining," he said. "Cats was apparently the number-one trending topic in the world, for a good few hours at least.” As a result, the social media team working on the movie seems to be embracing the reaction, making jokes on Twitter about that being te first audience in need of knowledge for new trailers and other promotional materials.
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Cats is set to hit theaters on December 20, 2019.