Cats Movie Qualifying for Awards

UPDATE: Variety reports Cats will be screened for the Hollywood Foreign Press in time to qualify for the Golden Globes, but it remains to be seen how it will shake out for other awards voting bodies, but since the Golden Globes deadline was December 4, it shouldn’t be a problem for many of them. Our original story from November 10 follows below.

As the year comes to an end, we’re getting into the heart of awards season. This is the time of year when studios release most of the movies they hope will be vying for Oscars, Golden Globes, and plenty of other awards from various guilds, critic circles, and more. The deadlines to qualify for these awards are always known far in advance, but every now and then some films end up cutting it rather close, and this year, that film is Cats.

Cats is the big screen adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical of the same name, and a big ensemble cast that includes Francesca Hayward, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, and more. Director Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) is bringing the story to life with a heft amount of visual effects, using what has been hilariously referred to as digital fur technology, to turn the movie’s stars into photorealistic human-cat hybrids that terrified many as soon as the first trailer arrived. It’s an interesting, albeit haunting, way to tell this story, and now it might cause the film to miss some major awards deadlines. Read More »

cats trailer

Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Ian McKellen, and Judi Dench are all playing cats in Cats, the movie adaptation of the Broadway sensation Cats, which is about cats. While the stage production employs furry costumes for its feline characters, this new film from Tom Hooper uses digital enhancements to turn its actors into kitties. You can decide for yourself if this is a good or bad idea by watching the first Cats trailer below.

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cats featurette

Cats is going to be big. It will either be a big stage-to-screen musical beloved by audiences, or the type of strange train-wreck that we can’t look away from. In either case, I’m excited. The film brings the hit Broadway musical to life in a whole new way, featuring a cast that includes James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, and Rebel Wilson as digitally-enhanced cats. We’ll have to wait until Friday to see actual film footage, but a new Cats featurette goes behind-the-scenes to showcase how weird this is going to be.

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Cats footage reaction

Featuring spandex-wearing anthropomorphic cats and a barebones plot, Cats is possibly one of the strangest Broadway musicals to hit the Great White Way. And now it’s about to become one of the most baffling feature film musicals. Directed by Tom Hooper in his second movie musical following Les MiserablesCats has an unfairly stacked cast including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, and Judi Dench.

While the prospect of seeing Judi Dench in spandex is tempting, with Hooper’s moodily realistic approach to musicals, it seems like that sadly won’t be the case. /Film’s own Peter Sciretta and Ben Pearson are attending CinemaCon is Las Vegas this year and they learned that Cats will be a visual-effects heavy movie that uses motion capture technology and oversized sets to transform the actors into something closer to actual felines. Yes, really.

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artemis fowl image

When you want an actor to give off an air of “gravelly, Churchillian, curmudgeonly” authority, you turn to Dame Judi Dench. The legendary actress made headlines when she was cast as Commander Root in Artemis Fowl, taking on a character originally written as male. But if you’re going to gender-bend any character in this urban fantasy film, there’s no better option than with the Dame herself.

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all is true trailer

All the world was a stage for William Shakespeare — but what happens when the curtains drop and the stage burns down? He uneasily retires to a life in the country with a neglected family and broken relationships — at least, that’s what Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming period drama All Is True assumes about the legendary playwright’s mysterious twilight years.

Not much is known about the Shakespeare’s uncertain final years, a topic that has long intrigued Branagh, who has always wanted to explore the playwright’s forgotten period. And he does as both the star and director of All Is True, which also stars Judi Dench and Ian McKellen. Watch the All Is True trailer below.

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Artemis Fowl trailer

A boy genius is on his way to fill the hole that a certain boy wizard left seven years ago. Though Artemis Fowlbased on the popular series of the same name by Eoin Colfer, has long deserved a big-screen adaptation in its own right.

The newest live-action film from Disney and Murder on the Orient Express director Kenneth Branagh, Artemis Fowl is a magical urban fantasy that follows a 12-year-old Irish boy genius who hatches an impossible scheme: to kidnap a fairy and ransom it for gold. But this is more than just a childish flight of fancy, the titular Artemis has discovered a sprawling world of fairies, leprechauns (or rather, LEPrecons), and tech-savvy centaurs that could aid him in his grand scheme for wealth and family.

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Judi Dench Cats

Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench is the latest performer to join the cast of Tom Hooper‘s Cats movie musical. She’ll play a gender-swapped version of the Jellicle cats’ leader, Old Deuteronomy. She also has some interesting history with this show that makes her casting here seem like a nice “full circle” moment in her impressive career.  Read More »

artemis fowl casting

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally getting an Artemis Fowl movie.

Nearly a decade after the Harry Potter-inspired children’s fantasy phenomenon breathed its last fiery breath, and on the tail end of the fading YA dystopian craze, Artemis Fowl is coming. And it has a pretty impressive cast and crew. Kenneth Branagh will be taking the helm of the Disney adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s children’s book series, which follows the manipulative child genius Artemis Fowl as he kidnaps an elf to ransom her for a fortune. It’s a pretty unforgiving role for any child actor, but after months of searching, Branagh and his team have finally landed on a newcomer to play the role of the cunning, slightly cruel, and compelling protagonist.

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murder on the orient express featurette

Kenneth Branagh‘s glorious mustache is not the only thing that the actor-director is doing old-school in his feature film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.

The director and star of the 2017 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic novel is taking painstaking means to give audiences as authentic and immersive experience as possible. That means a return to the days of yore, when filmmakers used film cameras and not digital. A new Murder on the Orient Express featurette dives into Branagh’s process, and the joy it gives actors to perform without a green screen.

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