Hugh Jackman turned down 'Cats'

Gregory Wakeman
Hugh Jackman performs on NBC's 'Today' show in New York City, U.S., December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Cats was an unmitigated disaster when it was released at the end of last year. 

Not only was it savaged by critics, but it is now believed that the musical lost around £76m at the box office for Universal Pictures. 

Read More: Oscars 2020: James Corden and Rebel Wilson wear 'Cats' outfits to present Visual Effects award

Cats was such a catastrophe that even the actors associated with film, which included James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen, had their reputations slightly tarnished.

So it’s lucky for Hugh Jackman then that he turned down co-writer and director Tom Hooper’s approach to star in the adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.  

I bet Hugh Jackman regrets missing out on this Cats number (Image by Universal)

Jackman told The Daily Beast that he was just too busy to star in Cats, recalling, “You know, Tom rang me early on because we did Les Mis together, and there were a couple of options there based on availability and time, and I really… yeah, I just wasn’t available at the time.”

Les Miserables was a much bigger success for Hooper, as it made over £441 million ($552 million) from just a £48 million ($61 million) budget, and received eight Academy Award nominations, winning three.

Read more: Rebel Wilson loved reaction to Cats trailer

Considering how close he is with Hooper, it’s not surprising then that Jackman refused to add to the director’s pain. After being asked, whether he was glad that he didn’t star in Cats, Jackman responded, “I’m in the theater, man, and I don’t want to be in the business of bashing people—or jumping on bandwagons. I haven’t seen it, and Tom Hooper’s one of the great filmmakers we have.”

Jackman isn’t the only person not to have seen Cats, as both Dench and Corden have admitted that they’re yet to set eyes on the film, too.