Tom Hooper shot to fame as a director who exclusively dabbled in awards season favorites after seeing his trifecta of The King’s Speech, Les Miserables and The Danish Girl win a combined total of eight Academy Awards from twenty-four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for the former.
Sticking with the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach, Hooper next decided to tackle the universally popular musical Cats, and it would be an understatement of epic proportions to say that things didn’t go to plan. The claws were out from almost the second the first footage was revealed, but few could have imagined just how terrible the finished product would turn out to be.
While Cats seems set to enjoy a bizarre second life as a cult curiosity, it ended up as one of the biggest box office bombs of last year, and is estimated to have lost Universal over $100 million. Even the stars of the movie haven’t been shy in admitting how terrible it was, and while Seth Rogen seemed to get a kick out of watching it under the influence of his preferred vice, the creator of the musical isn’t as forgiving.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is no stranger to big screen adaptations of his work, but the legendary composer didn’t even try to hide his disdain for Cats when asked how he felt about the pic in a recent interview.
“The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show. The whole thing was ridiculous.”
Even drafting in people familiar with the source material more than likely wouldn’t have been enough to save Cats from disaster, but amidst all of the criticism facing the film, let’s spare a thought for the poor visual effects artist who was hired exclusively to painstakingly erase every CGI butthole from existence, because that person was definitely underpaid for their efforts.