Remember back in December 2019, when the only large-scale disaster we had to concern ourselves with was the movie adaption of Cats? Well, Broadway icon and original Cats composer Andrew Lloyd Webber certainly hasn’t forgotten.
In a new interview with The Sunday Times (via Deadline), Webber agreed with most critics and cinema-goers: Cats was an unmitigated failure. The Broadway impresario laid the blame at director Tom Hooper’s feet for going his own way instead of working with people familiar with the stage version of the musical.
“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,” Webber said. “The whole thing was ridiculous.”
He’s not the only one who thought so. Universal lost an estimated $113 million on the cat-astrophic flop; it probably didn’t help that the studio tried to “fix” the special effects after it was released. The film was eventually pulled from Oscars consideration, and yet still caused controversy when stars James Corden and Rebel Wilson mocked the movie while awarding the Outstanding Visual Effects Academy Award.
Cats is still something of an award-“winner”, though, as it swept the 2020 Razzies with Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor (Corden), Worst Supporting Actress (Wilson), Worst on Screen Combo (any two half-feline/half-human hairballs), Worst Screenplay, and Worst Director.
Bad as the movie was, Webber still doesn’t want anyone tarnishing the Cats legacy any further, and that includes the president. Last month, his company Really Useful Group issued a cease and desist to the Trump 2020 campaign over its use of “Memory” at his rallies. That adds Webber to a growing list of artists who have requested their music kept out of Trump’s speakers, including Linkin Park, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, and Tom Petty’s estate. A number of artists recently signed an open letter demanding approval over use of their music at political events.