Andrew Lloyd Webber has taken a belated scratch to Tom Hooper’s much-maligned adaptation of his stage musical, Cats. In an interview with the Sunday Times, the composer identified the key problem as Hooper’s deviation from Lloyd Webber’s own vision.
“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,” Lloyd Webber said. “The whole thing was ridiculous.”
Critics primarily focused on the film’s curious special effects when filing universally damning notices. Audiences largely steered clear and some of the cast – which included Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift and Ian McKellen – disowned the finished product.
James Corden, who played guzzling alley cat Bustopher Jones, said he hadn’t seen the film but had heard it was “terrible”.
Lloyd Webber, who adapted TS Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats into a stage musical in 1981, had previously singled out Corden’s performance for rebuke, calling it “absolutely un-Eliot”.
The stage musical was the fourth-longest-running show on Broadway, and the sixth-longest in London’s West End.
Rumours recently surfaced of an early version of the film, nicknamed the “Butthole Cut”, in which unfortunately placed holes appeared on the human-cat hybrids. These were later redacted.