For all the feline lovers, fans of the musical, or just the perversely curious: Universal has announced that the film version of Cats will utilize motion capture to create the movie’s feline characters.
The news came out of Cinema Con, the Hollywood trade show where studios often show sizzle reels to generate buzz for their upcoming releases. That appeared to be the strategy for the Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) directed film, which brings the celebrated Andrew Lloyd Webber show to the silver screen. Though the footage shown at the convention didn’t show the final renderings of the movie’s characters, it did show behind the scenes footage of the performers wearing the standard dotted leotards used for motion capture filming. Hollywood used the same technique to realized characters like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Cats has long toiled in so-called Development Hell. The popularity of the plotless dance musical made tinseltown interested in producing a movie version, with various directors like Steven Spielberg signing up for the project only to leave later on. Hooper’s version will feature Oscar winners Jennifer Hudson and Judi Dench, as well as Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba and James Corden. The movie will hit cinemas this December.