Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats ordeal: let’s hope it doesn’t spawn a sequel | Cats

Now that the mud is beginning to settle, it’s changing into increasingly more obvious that Cats induced Covid. Give it some thought. On a regular basis that Cats didn’t exist on the earth, Covid wasn’t a factor. However then Cats got here out in cinemas and, simply 11 days later, the Wuhan Municipal Well being Fee reported its first cluster of instances. What might Covid presumably be if not excessive karmic retribution for a species so wildly uncontrolled that it spent tens of million {dollars} making a plotless movie about nightmarish attractive feline monstrosities who eat youngsters?

No less than we will soothe ourselves with the data that the individuals accountable haven’t gone unpunished. Not solely has director Tom Hooper seemingly disappeared into the ether, with no new initiatives on the horizon, however Andrew Lloyd Webber says he was “emotionally broken” by the ordeal.

How a lot precisely? Sufficient to purchase a assist canine. In an interview with Selection, Lord Lloyd-Webber claimed that the film adaptation of Cats shook him to his very core. “There wasn’t actually any understanding of why the music ticked in any respect. I noticed it and I simply thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ It was the primary time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and acquired a canine.”

Now, true, it’s a bit wealthy for the person who invented a stage musical by which a bunch of Cats introduce themselves after which considered one of them dies and that’s the top to bemoan the artistic chapter of a movie by which a bunch of Cats introduce themselves after which considered one of them dies and that’s the top. However apparently the trauma is lasting. Lloyd Webber now can’t journey except his canine is with him. “I wrote off and mentioned I wanted him with me always as a result of I’m emotionally broken and I should have this remedy canine,” he mentioned. “The airline wrote again and mentioned, ‘Are you able to show that you actually need him?’ And I mentioned ‘Sure, simply see what Hollywood did to my musical Cats.’ Then the approval got here again with a observe saying ‘No physician’s report required’.”

Don’t look down … Jason Derulo in Cats. {Photograph}: Common Footage/AP

I’ve two theories about this. The primary is that we can’t write off the trauma of seeing your artistic work tailored in a substandard method. Though Lloyd Webber was presumably paid handsomely for the Cats film rights, it’s clear that seeing his work so hellishly mangled nonetheless weighs closely. For all we all know, every time Lloyd Webber closes his eyes, he’s nonetheless haunted by visions of Insurgent Wilson unzipping her fur to disclose a set of human garments, or Dame Judi Dench sporting a fur coat on high of her precise fur, or the best way that the Taylor Swift and Jason Derulo cats have seen human breasts and penises. By which case, be a part of the membership.

However no less than this opens the door to different creators. Stephen King hated what Stanley Kubrick did with The Shining – so now, by this measure, he needs to be allowed to take an animal on a airplane. Anne Rice mentioned that the film model of Queen of the Damned butchered her novel, so it solely is sensible that she ought to carry round a basket of puppies every time she makes use of public transport. Ken Kesey is useless, however he was so displeased with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest that he needs to be granted the fitting to pull a load of ghost canines round heaven for all of eternity.

My second concept is far darker. Andrew Lloyd Webber looks as if a person who doesn’t announce something except he could make some cash off it down the road. Why would he out of the blue inform the world that he purchased a canine? I put it to you that he’s secretly creating a musical known as Canines, the place a load of canines introduce themselves after which considered one of them dies and that’s the top.

Canines will likely be an enormous theatrical success, and in a second of weak spot Lloyd Webber will promote the display screen rights and a decade from now we’ll all be pressured to look at a nightmarish film about Jason Statham and Mariah Carey wriggling round on a carpet singing songs to CGI tapeworms with youngsters’s faces. Historical past is doomed to repeat itself. Time to brace ourselves for one more pandemic.

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