Cats gets a CGI update that we definitely asked for

You're saying the movie can get even better?

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
2 min read

Cats is pure, bewildering spectacle.


Cats is already out in cinemas (hold your breath until Boxing Day, Australia), but that version was apparently rushed and undercooked. On the same day it opened in theaters, Dec. 20 in the US and the UK, Universal notified thousands of cinemas they'd receive an updated version with "some improved visual effects," according to a memo The Hollywood Reporter obtained.

This is unheard of after a movie's release, but Cats isn't your average movie. Critics have had a field day tearing the singing cat tale to pieces, and its opening box office weekend brought in less than half of what was expected ($6.5 million). The movie cost roughly $100 million to make.

Director Tom Hooper admitted he'd been working on Cats right up to the day before its world premiere on Dec. 16 in New York City. His latest tweaks will take effect within the next couple of days, according to THR. The exact updated effects haven't been revealed, but a strong clue has emerged on Twitter.

"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," Variety features editor Jenelle Riley tweeted Sunday. "How do you know if you have the old version? Look for Judi Dench's human hand, wedding ring and all."

Other Twitter users pointed out areas that could also do with a touch up. "For even more proof, this is a screenshot from the official trailer on Facebook. Note Rebel Wilson's real hand in a sleeve," tweeted Master Sugar Joe.

The filmmakers reportedly considered practical cat prosthetics on the actors, but the fur proved difficult to keep on and risked the actors overheating. Little did the filmmakers know the uncanny valley CGI would be deemed one of the movie's worst aspects.

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