Remember where you were when the first trailer for Cats came out? It hangs on to the memory like a fever dream. It was in the midst of last summer’s San Diego Comic-Con when exciting news surrounding Top Gun: Maverick and Terminator: Dark Fate had just come in. And suddenly, no one could look away from Tom Hopper’s nightmarish vision for the Broadway musical.
The trailer instantly went viral and became the butt of a ton of jokes that still follow the movie today. Since Cats became available on digital, new light has been shed on behind-the-scenes details. For one, a previous allegedly included cat buttholes before they were removed. There was also a graphic peeing scene according to anonymous VFX artists. Now, another source claims work on the trailer alone took up a huge chunk of pre-production. Per The Daily Beast:
It took the team six months to produce the film’s two-minute trailer, the source said. After that, roughly four months remained to complete the entire film. Visual effects supervisors were the only members of the team who met with Hooper—and by the end of production, Cats had burned through multiple.
Now, it should be noted that anonymous sources are at the center of these claims and, when a source goes on the record without offering their name, it cannot be officially confirmed. Mill Film, which is a visual effects company that was hired on Cats, has previously been contacted to comment on Cats and revealed that there are NDAs in place that forbid the studio and crew members from talking about the making of the film. So the Cats crew couldn’t go on record if they wanted to.
But according to this new source, the way the Cats director conducted the post-production process was “almost slavery” for the VFX crew. The workload is described as 90-hour work weeks for months straight – some days leading to workers sleeping under their desks in between shifts. The famed trailer apparently took up a huge chunk of the allotted time, giving them less time to get the actual movie finished. Here’s what else the source had to say:
We were so rushed on the project that we’d have no time for anything. So when people say, ‘Oh, the effects were not good,’ or ‘The animation’s not good,’ or anything, that’s not our fault. We have no time. Six months to do a two-minute trailer and four months to do a film of an hour and a half. My math is pretty good... You could figure that doesn’t make any sense.
The source also claims a big part of the problem lied in Tom Hopper just not knowing enough about what an animated production entailed. He would apparently have the crew completely render sequences for him to view when it’s actually commonplace to send rough cuts to the director to save time. The source also claims the director would send the crew personal emails criticizing their work.
And as far as the Butthole Cut goes, the source said the VFX crew offhandedly noticed it halfway through the making of Cats and it had to be removed in an already time-crunched production.
And still the plot thickens surrounding the production of Cats. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates on the mythical mystery of a movie.