You often hear about actors rueing the roles they were unable to take. For example, Dougray Scott was originally cast as Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men, only for Tom Cruise to refuse permission for him to leave the Mission: Impossible 2 shoot. A then-unknown Hugh Jackman was asked to strap on the claws, with the role making his career. It’s considerably rarer to hear actors relieved that they dodged a bullet by missing out on a part in a stone-cold stinker though, as (the apparently very lucky) Jackman did when he revealed he’d turned down a role in Cats.
The now-notorious disaster may have lost Universal as much as $100 million and is destined to go down in history alongside fellow flops The Lone Ranger, John Carter and Jupiter Ascending. The blame looks to fall on director Tom Hooper, who sounds like he was an absolute nightmare on set and caused innumerable technical headaches for his hard-working VFX teams.
The cast looks like they might come out of it with their reputations intact, but today Jackman got a taste of how things might have turned out for him if he’d have said yes to the role. Artist Boss Logic has imagined him under the film’s digital fur technology and you can take a look at what he’s come up with down below.
It’s probably worth remembering that if Jackman had appeared in the movie, it’s unlikely he’d have been wearing such a natty suit. Instead, he would have been effectively naked, thrusting his weird sexless groin into the camera and saying the word “jellicle” over and over *shudder*.
Despite that, I’m glad I got to see the film in the theater. I saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker the same week and while I quickly forgot a lot of that blandness, the sheer weirdness of Cats is going to stick in my head for some months yet.