Cats director Tom Hooper reveals that some of the backlash towards the first trailer led to some redesigns. People were caught off guard when the first look at the movie was unveiled. The world was not ready for a furry, seemingly nude Taylor Swift, or for the sight of Judi Dench with whiskers, or a feline version of James Corden spitting on his peers. Even months after the fact, people are still terrified and a bit scarred from what Hooper brought into the world. Now, he admits that some of the initial backlash had an influence on the redesign process.

Tom Hooper did not think he was making something that would get such a crazy reaction when he prepared the first Cats trailer. "I was just so fascinated because I didn't think it was controversial at all," he says. "So it was quite entertaining. Cats was the #1 trending topic in the world, for a good few hours at least." The movie was trending, but not for hype to see the movie. Instead it turned into a massive spread of memes and jokes.

Paramount ran into some trouble earlier this year when they dropped the trailer for their Sonic The Hedgehog movie. The iconic character was given more of a human-look and fans lost their minds, which resulted in the studio going back to the drawing board to completely overhaul the design, which led to the release date getting pushed back. While the redesign for Cats wasn't as drastic as the Sonic debacle, there were definitely some changes made after the reaction to the first trailer. Director Tom Hooper explains.

"We'd only finished shooting in March, so all the visual effects (in the trailer) were at quite an early stage. Possibly there were, in the extremity in some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving (the production). When you watch the finished film, you'll see that some of the designs of the cats have moved on since then, and certainly our understanding of how to use the technology to make them work has gone up, too."

A second Cats trailer was recently released and it does feature a more fine-tuned approach to the realistic "digital fur technology." The cats themselves don't look a whole lot different, but the tweaks are noticeable. The studio did not go as far as the Sonic The Hedgehog team, but they are still going through and making tweaks to the design. Regardless, it looks like the people who were bummed with the initial designs are going to remain bummed, scared, or however they originally felt.

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Cats will open in theaters next month and it will be very interesting to see how the iconic Broadway show translates to the big screen and how many people want to go see what looks like an acid trip. Taylor Swift fans will come out in full force, but will that be enough to get the movie to succeed at the box office? We'll just have to wait and see. The interview with Tom Hooper was originally conducted by Empire.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick