The ‘Cats’ director was surprised by people’s grossed-out reactions to the movie’s CGI characters

The

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The “Cats” director did not expect the first trailer to be polarizing.
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Universal Pictures

  • The director of “Cats” apparently found the response to the film’s trailer “quite entertaining” after it freaked people out in July.
  • “I was just so fascinated because I didn’t think it was controversial at all,” the director Tom Hooper told Empire magazine’s Ben Travis.
  • People commented that the characters were weirdly human-like and wondered whether the cat version of Judi Dench had skinned one of her companions.
  • The British director told Empire that the visual effects were still in their early stages when the trailer was released and that to some extent the fan response helped in their development.
  • “Possibly there were, in the extremity in some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving [the production],” he said. “When you watch the finished film, you’ll see that some of the designs of the cats have moved on since then.”
  • “Cats” is scheduled for worldwide release on December 20.
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The director of “Cats” has finally responded to the viral social-media response that the film’s first trailer received, saying it was all “quite entertaining.”

Tom Hooper said he was surprised by the number of people who were freaked out by the bizarrely human-like characters in the movie.

“I was just so fascinated because I didn’t think it was controversial at all,” Hooper told Empire magazine’s Ben Travis in his first interview about the movie. “So it was quite entertaining.”

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“Cats” was the No. 1 trending topic worldwide after its first trailer dropped in July.
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Universal Pictures

Hooper recalled hearing upon the trailer’s release that “Cats” was the No. 1 trending topic globally for a few hours.

Some complained the feline characters looked far too human, whereas others even wondered whether the cat version of Judi Dench had skinned one of her companions.

An altered version of the trailer that used creepy music from the horror movie “Us” made the rounds online as well, with some viewing it as more fitting.

Judi Dench plays the role of Old Deuteronomy.

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Judi Dench plays the role of Old Deuteronomy.
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Universal Pictures

Hooper said that “Cats” had just finished shooting a few months before the trailer’s release, so the film’s visual effects were a work in progress, but that the response actually helped with their development.

“Possibly there were, in the extremity of some of the responses, some clues in how to keep evolving [the production],” he said. “When you watch the finished film, you’ll see that some of the designs of the cats have moved on since then.”

The new “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie faced similar backlash earlier this year when the first trailer depicted a pseudorealistic version of the video game character that freaked some people out.

The movie was due to hit theaters in November, but the reaction to the original look was so bad that the movie’s director, Jeff Fowler, vowed to change Sonic’s look, which meant delaying the release until 2020.

The new design shows the blue speedster looking much more cartoon-like than the original, with wider eyes and fewer teeth.

Sonic the Hedgehog's original design next to the updated design following backlash.

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Sonic the Hedgehog’s original design next to the updated design following backlash.
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Paramount Pictures