If you were battled by Cats, just imagine how Andrew Lloyd Webber felt. Webber composed the original musical of Cats, based on the poems by T.S. Eliot, and turned it into a monster hit. For a time, it was the longest-running show in the history of Broadway. (It’s still the fourth-longest-running to this day.) The show became synonymous with a while era of live theater. Its songs were sung around the world.
Then the movie happened.
The film bombed at the box office and did even worse with critics. It featured bizarre human/cat hybrids created with off-putting special effects. It had Taylor Swift slinking around in cat high heels. It had Idris Elba as a cat with teleportation powers. Then there was that whole “Butthole Cut” online rumor. Until Covid struck and began to shut down theaters, Cats was well on its way to becoming the biggest midnight movie since The Room.
None of this sits well with Webber. In a new interview with Variety, he doesn’t mince words when offering his thoughts on the film. He claims he hated it so much that he actually went out and bought a dog for the first time in his life.
Here’s his full quote:
Cats was off-the-scale all wrong. There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog.
Weirdly, my first reaction to Cats was “Oh God, yes.” Sure, it was horrifying. But it was so damn weird, I couldn’t look away. Of course, I didn’t make Cats so I didn’t have to worry about getting blamed for creating one of the weirdest Hollywood films in history.
Cats is currently available to stream on HBO — where, somewhat surprisingly, it is listed under the “Kids” section, amongst the likes of Cats & Dogs and The Cat Returns. So watch it with your children! They’ll definitely never forget it!
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