'Cats' Is Being Updated With 'Improved Visual Effects'

The updated version is heading to theaters.

Taylor Swift

Image via Getty/Angela Weiss / AFP

Taylor Swift

The critically panned Cats is getting an update.

According to a memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Universal has informed theaters they will receive new versions of the Tom Hooper-directed film with "improved visual effects." The news arrives just a day after Catsopened with disappointing box office numbers and countless brutal reviews.

Per THR:

The move is unheard of for a finished title already in release, according to cinema operators and Hollywood studio executives. Insiders say it is being done at Hooper's request.

Cats—a film adaption of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1981 musical—was criticized for its visuals well before it ever hit theaters. Immediately after its trailer dropped, viewers took to social media to slam the CGI feline effects used on the stars' faces. Some referred to the looks as "strange" while others went so far as to call them "terrifying."

Hooper was also dissatisfied with the visual effects, and was still working on the film until the day before its theatrical release. The Oscar-winning director spoke about his efforts in a recent interview with Business Insider.

"What the trailer reminded me was my original intention, which was to preserve as much of the face as possible. I think, possibly, in some characters in the trailer the original face had gotten a little bit lost under the fur," he said. "So I think the biggest difference, which is subtle but it's important, was to pare it back and sculpt it more lovingly around the actor's actual face so I lost none of it."

So, will these improvements change audiences' opinions? We'll have to wait and see.

Cats features a star-studded cast that includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Ian McKellen, and Judi Dench.

Latest in Pop Culture