Fans are still waiting to see even more of Cats after the trailers dropped earlier this year. Now, it looks like the film is running out of time to meet awards season deadlines before the planned holiday release. A report by IndieWire says that members of the New York Film Critics have been told that they shouldn’t hold their breath in anticipation of seeing the film before mid-December. That is problematic because the group votes on December 4 and a host of other awards have cutoffs near that date at the start of the month. For example, the Golden Globes, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards are all in jeopardy for the film at this juncture. That should worry the studio who has rolled out the red carpet for a host of celebrities in the cast and could have used the Holiday awards season boost heading into the new year. The Oscars timetable has even been moved up with nominations due on January 7.
Tom Hooper’s latest has had a strange road to this point with the bizarre CGI unveiling on social media. People online pounced at the unnerving mixture of human faces on those computer-generated bodies. It’s been one thing after the next as people began to take the trailer footage and splice other songs beneath it. There was the song from Us’ trailer and the obligatory hits like Gangsta’s Paradise after the Sonic the Hedgehog movie debacle as well. So, the early going has been an admittedly tough sell for a film that might not have needed the extra baggage right out of the gates. One thing the studio can hang its hat on is the fact that the talent brought together on-screen should be able to really bring it as it relates to the performances at the heart of the musical.
Earlier this year, Universal tried to temper some of those harsh initial reactions. The studio tried to prepare fans for Cats by releasing a lengthy featurette showcasing the film’s production. Say what you will about the creepy nature of this product, but the technical skill that went into making everything work on this film is a sight to behold. The featurette also pointed out the film’s use of new “digital fur technology” responsible for the uncanny valley-esque details on all the actors.
Cats is based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name. The new film follows a tribe of cats called the Jellicles. Over the course of a single night, the cats make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. Cats stars Taylor Swift as Bombalurina, Idris Elba as Macavity, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots, Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat, and Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy.
Cats is still slated for a December release.