Cats won't be released in theaters until December 20, but on Wednesday, July 17, fans finally received their first sneak peek at the cinematic extravaganza of the year. The new Cats first look proves that Taylor Swift and her many famous castmates are about to deliver a movie of epic proportions — literally.
The film adaptation of the famous musical will star Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Jason DeRulo, Judi Dench, and Sir Ian McKellan as literal feline creatures. The film will be shot from the perspective of normal-size cats, meaning the sets are absolutely enormous — and impeccably designed, if the sneak peek is anything to go by.
The first look shows the entire cast prancing around the whimsical set, including oversize beds and doors so tall the average human can't reach the doorknob. "The scale of this film is huge, three or four times bigger from a cat perspective," Elba teases in the clip, with Dench saying it is "kind of an Alice in Wonderland experience."
And to make the actors look as feline-like as possible, director Tom Hooper is using digital technology that includes creating the "perfect covering of fur" for each character. "Tom is pairing them with a kind of level of technology which I don't think has ever been used before," Corden explains. "These are people but they're cats, and this is kind of blowing my mind. There's nothing else like it."
The first look also shows the cast practicing their big musical moments, including what looks like a dance number between Elba and Swift, who said she came off her Reputation Stadium Tour and went right into rehearsals for the film. "Everybody's working really long hours, rehearsing every day, and it's fun," she said. "I just was like really excited and so honored to get to be apart of this." She even rehearsed wearing cat socks, and if that doesn't show commitment, I'm not sure what does.
Cats seems to be the ideal movie for Swift, who is almost as known for her love of cats (and her own legendary felines, Meredith Grey, Olivia Benson, and the newest addition, Benjamin Button) as she is for her actual music. And she's already very excited about the film. The singer recently changed her Instagram name to her character's moniker, Bombalurina, and revealed that the Cats trailer will debut this Friday, July 19.
And Swift isn't the only cast member who has an especially personal connection to the project. As Dench reveals in the clip, the film marks an important milestone nearly 40 years in the making. It turns out, Dench was initially cast in the original stage musical in 1981, but had to pull out due to an unfortunate injury. "I thought that was my history with Cats," she said. "But it turns out not to be."
Given the stunning sets, the star-studded cast, and the promise of never-before-seen technology, Cats is guaranteed to be an experience for the ages. "This is a moment for you to step into a world that is completely designed to entertain," Elba says in the first look. And fans and detractors alike are all just waiting for their chance to be enchanted.