LOS ANGELES: The star-laden movie version of hit stage musical “Cats” released its first trailer on Thursday, but first impressions were far from cuddly.
The movie, to be released in December, features Taylor Swift in her first film role, along with Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba and James Corden.
The film uses the actors’ faces and covers their bodies in computer generated fur as they sing and dance on a larger than life set.
Scott Mendelson, film critic for Forbes.com, tweeted that the trailer was “appropriately terrifying and insane, like a drug-induced nightmare. I can’t wait!”
“Taylor I love you but this is gonna give me nightmares,” a user called Charlotte Eller posted on YouTube. The trailer racked up more than 100,000 views in the first hour and the #Cats hashtag quickly became the top tending item on Twitter.
The film, directed by Britain’s Tom Hooper, who won an Oscar for “The King’s Speech,” is the first movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit stage musical “Cats.”
The unlikely stage musical, based on poems by T.S. Eliot, opened in 1981 and became one of the longest-running shows on both Broadway and in London.
In a behind-the-scenes video, Oscar-winner Dench, one of Britain’s most admired actresses, called the film “an Alice in Wonderland experience.”
Swift, known for her love of cats, said cast members did extensive movement workshops to embody their feline characters.
“As a cat lover, and a cat owner, he (Hooper) told me I was going to get to go to cat school every day. For work! What?!,” the delighted singer said in a behind-the-scenes video.