Andrew Lloyd Webber Finally Trashes Movie Adaptation Of Cats

by : Julia Banim on : 04 Aug 2020 16:40
Andrew Lloyd Webber Finally Trashes Movie Adaptation Of CatsAndrew Lloyd Webber Finally Trashes Movie Adaptation Of CatsPA/Universal Pictures

It now feels like a lifetime ago that we were all united – for a brief, bizarre moment in time – in our collective horror at the film Cats.

More of an experience than a movie, the initial trailer had us wailing at the moon and scratching frantically at our social media feeds, trying to figure out exactly what was going on and how we could make it stop.

When the film itself arrived, it didn’t bring about many answers. Just cinemas filled with chaos, fear and confusion. Now, the original musical’s composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber himself, has finally coughed up a hairball of feedback, and it’s fair to say he’s not exactly purring for joy.

CatsCatsUniversal Pictures

In a recent interview, Webber sunk his claws into the silver screen adaptation of his beloved stage musical, declaring, ‘the whole thing was ridiculous’.

Webber, 72, told The Sunday Times:

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.


The Tony award-winning composer was listed as an executive producer on the movie, and also co-wrote new song Beautiful Ghost with Taylor Swift.

CatsCatsUniversal Pictures

This isn’t the first time Webber has expressed displeasure with the movie, which currently holds a woeful 20% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

In May, Webber took aim at James Corden’s performance as Bustopher Jones while giving live commentary on a 1998 filmed version of Cats.


Webber stated, ‘I cannot tell you how absolutely un-Eliot it all was’, adding with some exasperation, ‘this song is about wit, not coarse jokes’, as Vulture reports.

Fortunately, it doesn’t look as if Corden would have been too winded by the dig. The actor and talk show host admitted to having never even watched the movie during a BBC Radio Two interview, telling host Zoe Ball, ‘I’ve heard it’s terrible’.

CatsCatsUniversal Pictures

Webber based his 1981 musical on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a poetry book that introduces the reader to a variety of charming and eccentric feline characters.


According to the official website, Cats ranks among the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, having played at the New London Theatre for 21 record-breaking years and nearly 9,000 performances following its 1981 debut.

Since then, the show has racked up various prestigious awards, having won a staggering seven Tony awards – including for Best Musical – as well as a Grammy Award for Best Cast Album.

Cats in its cinematic form has had decidedly less luck, critically or commercially. However, they say cats have nine lives and the story lives on to be told in other forms. Maybe we’ll one day see a remake with greater input from those who made the original stage show such a treasure.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats, Film, musical, Now, Tom Hooper


The Sunday Times and 4 others
  1. The Sunday Times

    Andrew Lloyd Webber interview: on his new musical, Cinderella, and the future of theatre

  2. Rotten Tomatoes


  3. BBC Radio 2

    The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

  4. Vulture

    Andrew Lloyd Webber Knows the Cats Movie Is ‘Ridiculous’ and He’ll Tell You Why

  5. Cats The Musical