Special Reports

Broadway Shockers 2019: Cats Movie Trailer Gives Us Paws

There was something scary about that preview that made the most Jellicle ”Cats” lovers arch their backs.

As 2019 draws to a close, TheaterMania looks back on some of the most jaw-dropping stories of the year.

The musical Cats is one of the family-friendliest shows Broadway has ever seen. It has been the first theater experience for many a wee one, and rightly so. It doesn't have much of a plot to follow — just lots of cats singing and dancing to Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of T.S. Eliot's whimsical book of poems Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. But once you relax into the idea of a whisker-thin story line, it can actually be fun for adults too.

You'd never know any of that from the first official film trailer (above), which was released in July. From its haunting music and noirish opening in a dimly lit alley, to Jennifer Hudson's anguished rendition of "Memory," to Idris Elba's frightening makeup and overcoat (he plays Macavity), the trailer seems like an advertisement for a bizarre Tim Burton movie. While there are some lighter scenes interspersed throughout, one wouldn't be surprised to find Sweeney Todd lurking somewhere in the shadows.

Social media had a field day with this nightmare-inducing trailer, which didn't seem geared toward little kids at all. Fortunately, a new, more lighthearted version (above) was released in November. The music is livelier and the atmosphere more playful, plus James Corden, who takes on the role of Bustopher Jones, gets to crack a joke. The film was released on December 20, so audiences can now judge for themselves whether the movie is in fact a hit with the kiddies, or a scary, hair-raising catastrophe.