Andrew Lloyd Webber says the 'Cats' movie was 'ridiculous'

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read
Wilson in Cats (Credit: Universal)
Rebel Wilson in Cats. (Universal)

Andrew Lloyd Webber has sided with critics and audiences of the movie version of his musical Cats, branding it “ridiculous”.

Director Tom Hooper helmed the ambitious project, released last year, which tanked at the box office despite an all-star cast.

It also suffered a hiding at the hands of the critics.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Lloyd Webber appeared to lay the fault squarely on Hooper's work directing the film.

“The problem with the film was that Tom Hooper decided, as he had with Les Mis, that he didn’t want anybody involved in it who was involved in the original show,” Lloyd Webber said.

“The whole thing was ridiculous.”

Executive producer/composer Andrew Lloyd Webber attends the world premiere of "Cats" at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Andrew Lloyd Webber attends the world premiere of Cats in New York. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Hooper had considerably better fortunes with his big-screen version of Les Miserables in 2012, however.

It took a respectable $441.8m at the worldwide box office, compared to Cats' disastrous $73m (it cost a reported $100m to make and was said to have lost Universal Pictures more than $100m in all).

Read more: Seth Rogen got high and live-tweeted watching Cats

This came despite a cast including James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Sir Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and the Royal Ballet's Francesca Hayward.

Judi Dench in <i>Cats</i> (Universal)
Judi Dench in Cats. (Universal)

The signs looked less than encouraging even when the first trailer was unleashed, dubbed “nightmare fuel” at the time, with Hooper later blaming the trailer’s CGI for the aghast reactions.

After its release, Hooper told Entertainment Weekly: “I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, and it was obviously much more of a big deal than I thought.

Read more: Hollywood VFX society slams Oscars over Cats joke

“Reading some of the commentary was pretty entertaining.”

The movie ended up sweeping the Razzies, winning eight in all, including Worst Picture, with James Corden, who admitted to not seeing the completed movie, even publicly mocking it at the Oscars.