×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Cats’ Behind-the-Scenes Footage Debuts at CinemaCon, Jennifer Hudson Sings ‘Memory’

Jennifer Hudson delivered an anthemic rendition of “Memory” to cap Universal Pictures’ CinemaCon presentation on Wednesday.

Universal and Working Title didn’t release any footage from “Cats,” the studio’s big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, because studio chief Donna Langley said the film’s effects are so complicated that they have nothing to show the audience of theater owners. The studio did bring a handsomely mounted behind-the-scenes look at the movie, which featured stars such as Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Taylor Swift, and Ian McKellen dancing in motion-capture enabled leotards.

“We spent a very, very long time preparing how to be a cat,” said Judi Dench, who plays Old Deuteronomy.

Flexing their inner feline required some CGI assistance. Director Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) said the film will deploy “digital fur technology.” Sets were built three or four times bigger than normal in order to replicate a cat’s perspective and the cast was drilled in various forms of dance, from tap to ballet to hip-hop. Andy Blankenbuehler, best known for his work on “Hamilton,” is choreographing “Cats.”

The Tony-winning play about a tribe of cats called the Jellicles ran on Broadway for 18 years. Hooper said the film is about “the importance of inclusion and community and forgiveness and redemption.” The story is a personal one for Hooper, who said he first saw the play when he was 10 years old.

“The excitement, the mystery, the fun is something I’ve always held onto,” said Hooper.

“Cats” debuts Dec. 20. The studio unveiled footage as part of its presentation to exhibitors. Universal also has the “Fast and Furious” spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw,” “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” and Seth Rogen’s “Good Boys” on its 2019 slate.

Related: 

More Film

  • Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and

    Film News Roundup: Leonardo DiCaprio Presenting Robert De Niro SAG Life Achievement Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Leonardo DiCaprio will present Robert De Niro with his SAG Life Achievement Award, the Oliver Sacks documentary finds a home and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television gets a new dean. AWARD PRESENTATION Leonardo DiCaprio has been selected to present Robert De Niro the SAG Life Achievement Award  at [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    ‘Karnawal,’ ‘Restless,’ ‘Summer White,’ ‘Firsts’ Win Big at Ventana Sur

    BUENOS AIRES  — With Ventana Sur now firing on multiple cylinders, featuring pix-in post or project competitions for not only art films but also genre pics and animation – two sectors embraced by young creators in Latin America – “Karnawal,” “Restless,” “Summer White” and  “Firsts” proved big winners among Ventana Sur’s arthouse and animation competitions, [...]

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    From "1917" to "Jojo Rabbit," Composers of Some of the Year's Top Scores Talk Shop

    “1917,” Thomas Newman The 20-year collaboration of director Sam Mendes and composer Thomas Newman has encompassed midlife crisis (“American Beauty”), crime in the Depression (“Road to Perdition”), the Gulf War (“Jarhead”), marriage in the 1950s (“Revolutionary Road”) and two James Bond adventures (“Skyfall,” “Spectre”). Now they’ve tackled World War I, with “1917,” but Mendes’ much-talked-about [...]

  • Billy Magnussen Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Spinoff With Billy Magnussen's Character in the Works for Disney Plus

    Disney is developing a spinoff of its live-action “Aladdin” with Billy Magnussen reprising his Prince Anders character. The unnamed project is in early development for the studio’s recently launched Disney Plus streaming service. Disney has hired Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme to write a script centered on the haughty Prince Anders, one of Princess Jasmine’s [...]

  • ROAD TRIP – In Disney and

    Disney Boasts a Bevy of Hopefuls for Oscar's Original Song Race

    When the Academy announces its shortlist for song nominations on Dec. 16, you can be certain that at least one Disney song will be on it and probably more. Disney songs have been nominated 33 times in the past 30 years, winning 12 of the gold statuettes. This year, the studio has at least four [...]

  • Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    Innovative Scores Elevated the Year's Documentaries

    It’s next to impossible for a documentary score to be Oscar-nominated alongside the dozens of fictional narratives entered each year. But it did happen, just once: In 1975, composer Gerald Fried was nominated for his music for “Birds Do It, Bees Do It,” a documentary on the mating habits of animals. Fried, now 91, perhaps [...]

  • Ron Leibman, Jessica Walter'Mary Stuart' Play

    Ron Leibman, Tony-Winning Actor Known for 'Angels in America' and 'Friends,' Dies at 82

    Ron Leibman, an Emmy-winning actor who garnered a Tony for his work in Broadway’s “Angels in America” and played the father of Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel Green on “Friends,” died on Friday. He was 82. Robert Attermann, CEO of Abrams Artists Agency, confirmed the news to Variety. No further details were immediately available. Leibman, a native [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content