With a star-studded cast that included Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Francesa Hayward, and Jason Derulo, the anticipation for Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s acclaimed musical Cats was sky-high. As we know, the Cats movie turned out to be a box-office bomb that got absolutely ravaged by critics, and it turns out that Andrew Lloyd Webber wasn’t a huge fan either, so much so that he went out and bought a dog.
In a recent Variety feature, Andrew Lloyd Webber said that the rights to Cats were originally sold to Amblin with the intention that Stephen Spielberg would be directing an animated movie based on the musical. As we know, that didn’t happen, and the film proved to be disastrous.
‘Cats’ was off-the-scale all wrong. There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s dog soon became a constant companion and he even found a way to keep the dog with him when he flies. “I wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I’m emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog,” Webber said. “The airline wrote back and said, ‘Can you prove that you really need him?’ And I said ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical Cats. Then the approval came back with a note saying, ‘No doctor’s report required.’” Andrew Lloyd Webber has previously called the Cats movie “ridiculous,” saying that “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.”
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