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"Cats" Director Was Asked To "Explain Himself" And He Did, Speaking About Some Of The Controversial Choices He Made For The Film

There was honestly a good reason for the CGI.

So as you probably already know (or maybe you saw it for yourself), Cats is getting not-so-great reviews from audiences and critics alike.

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Like AWFUL reviews and most people agree the movie is well, a CATastrophe:

There were about twenty people at my showing of CATS. Seven walked out. Some people were in fits of laughter by the end. It is shockingly bad. I really don’t think you can understand how freaky and wrong it is until you see it.

And audiences are staying away from it like it was three-week-old dirty kitty litter:

Well, the film's director, Tom Hooper, did an interview with Vulture where he explained some of the choices he made (FTR, the interview was done before the reviews came out).

Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

In the interview — which starts with "Sir, explain yourself"—Tom addresses why he chose to go with CGI (one of the most controversial decisions) instead of prosthetics or the makeup used in the stage production.

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

According to him, it's because he didn't want to lose facial performances, saying:

The tricky thing with prosthetics is you end up with a kind of full-face prosthetic and you lose all performance. And then you still have nonmoving ears. And then you’re like, "So you’re only going to CGI the ears? If you’ve done that, then what’s the point of doing it selectively?" Then, if you added any kind of fur to bodies, you’d gain a centimeter of weight everywhere, which doesn’t help. So all roads led me back to the visual-effects route.

Tom also spoke about another issue people had with the film, that all the proportions were way off:

The proportions are all wrong, inconsistent even within individual scenes. Sometimes the cats look like furry little demonic humanoids crawling around, sometimes they are human-sized. NO ONE who made this movie knew how big these cats are supposed to be.

While Tom did say he tried to keep it consistent, he said it was ultimately not possible and "it was never meant to be literal":

I mean, it was based on a bit of maths. If a cat was standing on hind legs, what’s the difference? And it’s about 2.5 to 1. So everything is built 2.5 to 1. But then you still end up with a street that’s only as wide as you can make it in the studio — whereas if you’ve applied the two and a half rule, it would be superwide. But it was never meant to be that literal. Obviously, if we’re cats, the world would be bigger.

And in a very candid answer, Tom admitted he had many, many big doubts about the movie.

Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

But, his biggest doubt was about whether or not the visual-effects would all come together, saying:

It was probably just the scale of the visual-effects challenge — when you’re sitting in March having finished the shoot, but every shot still needs an approach — and just where I wanted it to be in quality and whether we could ever get there. Because a lot of work we were doing was still quite tried and untested. I’m proud of what this insanely vast team has done...And you could imagine the quality control when one character is handled by four different cities. It’s quite dizzying.

Well, I guess he maybe didn't "get there" with the special effects. 😑

This isn’t a joke: CATS was rushed into theaters before being finished so a new version is being sent to theaters with updated effects. How do you know if you have the old version? Look for Judi Dench’s human hand, wedding ring and all.

You can read the entire interview with Tom over at Vulture.

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