'Cats' Is No Longer The Jellicle Choice For Universal's Oscar Contenders

Cats is no longer Universal's Jellicle choice for its Oscar contenders. The studio has removed Tom Hooper's feature film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical from its FYC page — the page listing Universal's Oscar-qualifying movies. This effectively removes (or declaws) Cats chances for the major Academy Awards categories that the musical cat-tastrophe was aiming for, including visual effects and original song.

Universal has effectively put the nail in the coffin for the Cats Oscar chances. According to Variety, the studio has removed Cats from its FYC, or "for your consideration," page. The page lists Universal's Oscar-qualifying movies along with a guide to their individual categories and a schedule of upcoming screenings in various cities. Variety also reports that Cats isn't featured on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' streaming platform, where members watch Oscar contenders.

This news comes less than a week after the it was confirmed that an updated version of Cats with more completed VFX would be considered for Oscars. The film was widely mocked after word got out that Universal was sending updated prints of the film to theaters after initial versions showed incomplete VFX, including one viral shot featured Judi Dench's human hand with her wedding ring still visible.

This unusual update, which was sent out by Universal several days after Cats opened earlier this month to savage reviews and even worse box office numbers, would have normally disqualified the film from competing for the Oscars — Academy rules and regulations state that a film must compete for Oscars with the same version used in its one-week qualifying run in Los Angeles. But The Wrap reports that the Academy is making an exception for Cats, allowing the updated version with more complete VFX to be considered for Oscars.

However, that exception won't likely do the film any good now that Universal has seemingly pulled its FYC support – this despite the Tom Hooper-directed film somehow managing to score a spot on the Oscar shortlist for Best Visual Effects. The one original song in the movie, Beautiful Ghosts by Webber and Taylor Swift, wasn't shortlisted for the Oscars, though the song did earn a Golden Globe nomination.