Universal's Cats lept its way into theaters this weekend, bringing audiences a moviegoing experience unlike any other. The film, which attempts to adapt the long-running musical of the same name, has been referred to by critics as "a fever dream" and an "exercise in disbelieving your own eyes", in part thanks to its unique take on visual effects. Instead of the practical costumes and makeup used in stage productions of Cats, the film elects to morph its actors into cats using "digital fur technology", which has apparently led to some snafus. According to a memo from Universal retrieved by The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has informed theaters that they will be receiving an updated cut of the Tom Hooper film in the coming days, which will feature "some improved visual effects".
While it is unclear exactly what these updates will entail, social media has begun to highlight some of the VFX errors that are in the initial cut of Cats. These include Bustopher Jones' (James Corden) arm disappearing randomly during a scene and Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench) sporting a human hand with a wedding ring.
This isn’t a joke: CATS was rushed into theaters before being finished so a new version is being sent to theaters with updated effects. How do you know if you have the old version? Look for Judi Dench’s human hand, wedding ring and all. pic.twitter.com/VDUOevePU9— Jenelle Riley (@jenelleriley) December 22, 2019
Before you begin cries of "#ReleaseTheHooperCut", the report indicates that this update was done at the request of the director, who had previously been candid about the film being finished just hours before its New York premiere.
“I finished it at 8 a.m. yesterday after 36 hours in a row. I just put the finishing touches on. So, I’m very happy to be here with it fully finished,” Hooper told Variety early last week. “The premiere should be the first time people get to see it, and this is genuinely a premiere.”
Still, the notion of a film getting this prominent of an update after already premiering in theaters is relatively unprecedented. The whole ordeal is drawing comparisons to "patches" in the video game industry, which provide small cosmetic or internal updates for a game that has already been released.
As early as Sunday, theaters will be able to download the new cut of Cats through a satellite server or will receive a hard drive of the update by Tuesday. The studio is reportedly asking theaters to begin using the new cut - which will reportedly not have an effect on the 1 hour and 49 minutes run time - "as soon as possible".
What do you think of Cats getting an updated cut? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!