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Taylor Swift and Idris Elba Channel Their Inner Felines in the Live-Action 'Cats' Trailer

Despite its star-studded cast (which also includes Ian McKellen and Judi Dench), the films looks a little... odd.
By Sarah Ward
July 19, 2019
By Sarah Ward
July 19, 2019

In great news for cat-loving cinephiles, 2019 is shaping up to be a huge year for felines on film. Photorealistic big cats are currently prowling around the new remake of The Lion King, and they'll soon be joined by a bunch of singing, scurrying street mousers in the silver-screen adaptation of stage musical Cats.

For nearly four decades, Andrew Lloyd Webber's acclaimed production has pranced across stages everywhere, turning a tale inspired by poems from T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats into an award-winning theatre hit. But, while plenty of other popular musicals have made the leap to cinemas, this one hasn't until now. The first trailer for the new flick might just explain why.

Ever wanted to see Taylor Swift as a preening, purring cat? Keen to soothe your disappointment over the fact that Idris Elba isn't James Bond by spotting him with whiskers, fur and a tail? Perhaps you've always dreamed of watching accomplished actors such as Judi Dench and Ian McKellen channel their inner feline? Have you ever hoped for all of the above, and for the actors to all play cat-sized cats?

That's what's on offer in the just-dropped first clip, as well as a heap of dancing and singing set to the musical's famous melancholic tune 'Memory'. In terms of story, Cats zaps Swift, Elba and company down to feline height to spin a narrative about the Jellicle cat tribe, who spend a night deciding just which four-legged moggy will get to leave their group, ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

The movie comes with a significant pedigree, with Les Miserables' Tom Hooper in the director's chair, Webber on music duties, Hamilton's Andy Blankenbuehler doing the choreography, and the cast also spanning James Cordon, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo, Ray Winstone and Rebel Wilson. And yet, it all looks a little odd. Perhaps it doesn't help that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt featured a fantastic Cats parody, or perhaps it's just the film's cats-with-human-faces concept.

Check out the first Cats trailer below:

Cats opens in Australian cinemas on December 26.

Published on July 19, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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