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Cats film adaptation to hit cinema screens Posted On 29 November 2019

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s successful West End and Broadway musical, Cats, is recognised as being one of the most successful musicals of all time and has now been adapted for the big screen.

Since 1981, the musical Cats has been a massive stage hit around the world and now this holiday season, the live action remake is hitting cinemas up and down the UK.

Cats is based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’; a book dating back to 1939. It was written by T.S Eliot and contains many different but linked poems telling the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the one night every year when they make the “Jellicle choice” which decides which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

The film, which is based on the stage musical, is directed by Tom Hooper who is most noted for his previous box office hit Les Misérables which he directed in 2012. The production also involves other Hollywood heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg and choreographer Andy Blankenbuerhler, with screenplay by Lee Hall (Billy Elliott).

The stage show has millions of adoring fans across the globe, many of whom have seen the show on multiple occasions, so the film has, in their eyes, a lot to live up to. Since the film’s trailer was released in July of this year, it has received mixed reviews. Many described the animated felines as “horrifying” or “cursed”; however, fans of the poems have praised this as being closer to T.S Eliot’s original concept.

Due to the success of the stage musical, the film was always going to need a stellar cast and with big names such as; James Corden, Sir Ian McKellan, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Dame Judi Dench, the film adaptation is most definitely in good hands. The most important question for Cats’ fans however is who would take on the role of Grizabella, whose song ‘Memories’ is possibly the most iconic song from the musical. This was originally sung by Elaine Paige and in the film, this role is taken by Hollywood star Jennifer Hudson.

The film is due for release on 20th December 2019 and although there is little information regarding the film, it appears that it will make use of cutting-edge motion capture technology and CGI techniques to transform the actors into their cat personalities. This has caused much division amongst die-hard fans, with the first trailer being negatively received. However, Andrew Lloyd Webber is on board with the new direction of his musical: so much so, that he has written a new song to be included in the film.

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