Andrew Lloyd Webber shared his thoughts about “Cats” in an interview with Variety coinciding with the upcoming October 22 reopening of “Phantom of the Opera” at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway. Webber discussed film adaptations of his works, including other topics pertinent to his career, revealing that he has issues with both the film adaptations of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
“Cats,” meanwhile, Webber described as “off-the-scale all wrong.” He explained that he initially sold the rights to adapt it into a film to Amblin Entertainment, the film production company headed by Steven Spielberg before it landed in the hands of director Tom Hooper, which appears to be where the issues began.
“There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all,” Webber said. “I saw it and I just thought, ‘Oh, God, no.’ 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.”
In fact, Webber recounted attempting to communicate to an airline that his new dog serves a therapeutic purpose. “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.”‘ Then the approval came back with a note saying, ‘No doctor’s report required.'”