×
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

  • THE-CURSE-OF-THE-HANDSOME-MAN-photo2

    Filmax Acquires International on ‘The Curse of the Handsome Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Barcelona-based boutique studio Filmax has acquired international rights to Argentine producer-director Beda Docampo’s “The Curse of the Handsome Man,” produced by Ibón Cormenzana’s Arcadia Motion Pictures alongside Cados Producciones and Damned Besso –based in Spain—in co-production with Cecilia Díez’s Zarlek Producciones (“Medianeras”) in Argentina. The film is backed by Spanish public broadcaster [...]

  • La-mala-familia

    Javi Tasio Talks ECAM Incubator Title ‘La Mala Familia’

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Via their BRBR collective, filmmakers Nacho A. Villar and Luis Rojo have directed award winning music videos, and commercias. Now they’ll make the leap to features with “La Mala Familia,” a gritty urban drama set in the outskirts of Madrid. Variety spoke with the film’s producer, Javi Tasio, who developed this project at ECAM’s [...]

  • Submerged

    Outsider Takes World Sales on ‘Submerged’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures has acquired world sales rights to“Submergible” (Submerged) a narco capsule-sub-set drama thriller from Ecuador’s Alfredo León León who debuted with an original prisoner-of-war drama, “Open Wound.” Written by Daniela Granja Nuñez and Alfredo León León, “Submerged” is produced out of Ecuador by León León’s Boom en Cuadro and [...]

  • Charlie-Chaplin-and-Horse-Roy-Export-Co

    Carmen Chaplin to Direct ‘Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Director-producer-actress Carmen Chaplin is set to direct “Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World,” a theatrical documentary feature which will add a hardly-explored new facet to the creator of the Tramp, one of the most iconic cinema characters in popular consciousness, plumbing Chaplin’s Romani roots and heritage. Marking the first time that [...]

  • Incitement

    'Incitement' Wins Ophir Award for Best Picture, Becomes Israel's Oscar Submission

    “Incitement” was the best-picture winner at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday night, automatically becoming the country’s choice to vie for the international feature film Oscar. The winning film, a drama about the period leading up to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist in 1995, had its global premiere at [...]

  • LargoAI

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content