A new day has begun and I, at long last, understand what happiness is. For I have seen the trailer for Cats. Tom Hooper’s Cats. The adaptation of the longtime record holder for longest running Broadway musical: Cats. The show about cats. Singing cats. You’ll love it.
So what does Tom Hooper bring to the table in this first look at his bewildering venture—the nigh impossible task of adapting Cats (IT’S ABOUT CATS!) to the screen? As purrr tradition of Cats, the cats in Tom Hooper’s Cats are played not by cats, but humans donning form that one, were one a little too sauced on the catnip, might liken to something vaguely cat-adjacent. But in lieu of heavy makeup, that which has been employed to cat-ify the humans this time around is what’s known as “digital fur technology.” And even more mystifying to behold: the cats in this production are—you can bet your ninth life on it—cat-sized.
Watching the star-studded ensemble (we’ve got Idris Elba! We’ve got Taylor Swift! We’ve got Judi Dench! We’ve got Ian McKellen! We’ve got so many more incredibly famous people playing freakin’ cats!) frolic through the world of man at one tenth their normal sizes is the sort of thing the illusion of cinema was invented for. And the magic they can muster from such a stifled stature! These are, after all, jellicle cats, and their journey set to befall the big screen at Christmastime 2019 will take us beyond Earth, beyond Heaven, beyond the Heaviside Layer.
If my enthusiasm seems off-kilter, it’s because what we’ve just borne witness to is a trailer that manages all the absolute kookiness intrinsic to the story of Cats, a Broadway mainstay somehow drawn from the poetry of T.S. Eliot by musical maven Andrew Lloyd Weber. The show is bananas. Its success even more so. So the fact that Hooper’s movie looks absolutely freakin’ wild is… well… purrrrrr-fect.
Images: Universal Pictures