No one is reeling more from the disaster that was the Cats movie adaptation none other than its famed composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the music set to T.S. Eliot's collection of kitty poetry.
The widely panned musical movie took such a toll on Andrew Lloyd Webber's psyche, he bought a therapy dog to help him cope.
According to him, the screen version of Cats was "off-the-scale all wrong."
Webber, who recently was known for the Tony-nominated musical stage version of School of Rock, told Variety:
"There wasn't really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. I saw it, and I just thought, 'Oh, God, no,'"
Audiences agreed with him and didn't hold back on their unfavorable opinions.
But something good apparently came out of the controversy.
"It was the first time in my 70-odd years on this planet that I went out and bought a dog. So the one good thing to come out of it is my little Havanese puppy."
His bond with the loyal companion deepened further during the pandemic. He's even figured a way to bring him to New York City.
"I wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I'm emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog," he said.
"The airline wrote back and said, 'Can you prove that you really need him?' And I said 'Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical 'Cats'."
His response was met positively.
"Then the approval came back with a note saying, 'No doctor's report required'."
In 1983, the Broadway production of Cats won seven Tony awards, including one for Best Musical, and it became a worldwide phenomenon with productions shown in 30 countries and has been translated in 15 different languages.
The 2019 movie version of Cats starred an ensemble cast, including James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and Francesca Hayward, and was directed by Tom Hooper—following his first musical film adaption with Les Misérables in 2012.
But the all-star cast failed to find an audience after critics unanimously ripped the movie to shreds. The Hollywood Reporter named it one of the ten worst films of 2019.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 0 out of 5 stars and said it was "bizarre" and made the audience "want to cry for mercy."
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Lloyd Webber said he wrote to the higher ups at Universal, which distributed the film, and warned them:
"You've got a car crash on your hands unless you get a grip on this thing."
He never heard back from them.
At least his new emotional support pup is distracting him from reliving a bad memory.