When the Cats trailer was first released in July, there was a loud reaction across social media. Between the CGI cat fur, the cat boobs, and human faces on feline bodies, fans were stumped by the teaser. One of the most important people of the film heard the outrage and decided to make a change. Cats director Tom Hooper redesigned every cat following the reaction to the first trailer, he admitted to Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview.
Thanks to the trailer's response, Hooper changed "every single cat to some extent, whether small or large." The director, who won an Oscar for directing The King's Speech, also confessed to EW, "I think probably my original dream to use a lot of the human face had gotten perhaps a bit lost in that process of rushing to make that first trailer."
So, he went back and made sure that the actors' faces came through exactly like he planned, because, as Hooper noted, "...when you’ve got Ian McKellen or Judi Dench or Taylor Swift, why would you not want to?" Though the director admitted that he's not sure if the updates he made are what people wanted, in the long run, the commentary helped him "reconnect" with his plan.
This isn't the first time Hooper has made some last minute changes to Cats, either. Speaking at the red carpet of the Dec. 16 world premiere, he told Variety, "I finished it at 8 a.m. yesterday after 36 hours in a row. I just put the finishing touches on. So, I’m very happy to be here with it fully finished."
The second Cats trailer dropped in November, and, well, people still weren't impressed. Regarding Idris Elba's character, Macavity, many fans felt scarred after seeing him wearing nothing but cat fur. Twitter user @anitathetweeter jabbed, "I don’t want Idris Elba’s career to end this way." @wenbbilliams also tweeted about Elba in the cat buff, "When I said I wanted to see Idris Elba in more major films, this wasn't what I meant Hollywood. Now I have the image of naked Idris Elba cat burnt into my consciousness forever."
Despite the continued criticism, Hooper remains optimistic. Like he told Variety, "Let the audience decide, but I think we’ve come a long way since that first trailer."