Before they made the 2001 Josie and the Pussycats movie which has gone on to become a cult hit, filmmakers Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan first thought about trying to set the movie in outer space.
Fans of the Josie and the Pussycats cartoon will likely remember that while the first sixteen episodes took place on Earth, the series was retooled in 1972 as Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space and ran for another 16 episodes before concluding and going into syndication, with the first season being much more common in reruns than the ...In Outer Space episodes.
"The thing I remembered as a kids was Josie and the Pussycats the cartoon show, and it was Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space," Elfont told an audience at a screening of the film on Tuesday. "So we thought, 'perfect. Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space!' And it lasted for about ten minutes and then we thought, 'That's crazy.'"
The film that was made turned out to be a biting satire of the music industry of the time, which earned back only about half of its reported $39 million budget at the box office. In the yeas since, it has earned a cult following, in part becuase the Easter egg-filled movie played much better on home video than it did in theaters at the time.
"I realized at the time that we were ahead of our time," star Tara Reid said. "Before Facebook, Instagram, anything. When we were doing the subliminal messages and we were giving all of this information, no one got it just then. If we put out the movie now, I think it would be a whole different story."
The screening, which took place in Los Angeles, was tied to Mondo's reissue of the soundtrack, which stands as the only aspect of the movie that was objectively a hit at the time of its release, selling enough to go "Gold." Kay Hanley, the Letters to Cleo singer who provided the voice of Josie McCoy in the film's musical numbers, played songs from the soundtrack live for the first time, followed by a Q&A in which Hanley, Elfont and Kaplan were joined by Reid and Rachael Leigh Cook, who played Josie.
You can get a copy of the reissued soundtrack, only on vinyl, here.