In case you missed it, the new trailer for the upcoming movie musical Cats came out this week and audiences are … unsure about how they feel. On the one hand, the movie is taken from one of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time. With its star-studded cast (Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellan, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Idris Elba and Jennifer Hudson for starters), it has the potential for the same commercial success as other Broadway hits turned into movies, such as Les Misérables and Chicago.
On the other hand, some people think that turning the famed Jellicle Cats into CGI human-cat hybrids is “terrifying.” Many viewers are disturbed by the furry animation made possible by motion-capture technology, and on YouTube the trailer’s received more than twice as many “thumbs down” votes as “thumbs up.” Kevin Fallon for The Daily Beast wondered, “Why, besides cinematic ego, could this endeavor not be accomplished with hair and makeup?”
The movie doesn’t come out until Dec. 20, but we’ll let you decide for yourself if these felines fit your fancy.
While Cats may be receiving mixed feedback, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood isn’t. Tom Hanks is taking on the iconic role of Fred Rogers in the upcoming movie opposite Matthew Rhys, who portrays a journalist charged with profiling Mr. Rogers for a magazine. Fans are ecstatic about the casting choice for America’s “most beloved neighbor,” and if the trailer is any indication, the movie will teach us all about “empathy, kindness, and decency.”
In other news, Avengers: Endgame finally surpassed Avatar as the highest grossing film of all time. Now, we already discussed this on Movie Monday, so why are we bringing it up again? Well, mostly because Comic-Con just wrapped up its 50th anniversary in San Diego, and some people are speculating whether or not the venerable, culture-shaping convention is on the decline. Last year, several high-profile companies (Marvel Studios included) decided not to attend, which resulted in a fall in attendance for the first time ever. And there’s a sense that the only reason Marvel had a presence at Comic-Con this year was because Warner Brothers and the DC Extended Universe backed out.
There’s a certain irony here: The only reason Endgame even exists is because of the comics it was based on, and Comic-Con (as the name suggests) was instrumental in making the formerly niche world of comics into the cultural juggernaut it is today.
There’s another reason that Marvel attended Comic-Con this year: So they could announce their new slate of comic-based movies and TV shows. Black Widow is getting her own movie, so maybe we’ll finally find out what happened in Budapest. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are teaming up for their own TV show, and Loki and the Scarlet Witch are each getting their own shows as well. All of these programs will debut on Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+.
That surge of Disney+ programming comes as a huge blow to streaming platform Netflix, which exclusively distributed other Marvel TV shows such as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in the past. Netflix stock suffered a $17 billion loss on Thursday after announcing that instead of acquiring their projected 5 million new subscribers, they had only gained 2.7 million. Even with some runaway hits like Stranger Things, this does not bode well for the future of the company, especially since Disney+ isn’t even available yet.
It also doesn’t bode well for Comic-Con. Perhaps the reason Marvel has been shifty in its attendance is because its parent company is tired of getting lost in the swarm of studios that attends every year. Disney has been working on creating its own conventions exclusively for its children, with the next Star Wars Celebration scheduled for August 2020. Might broader Disney-centric conventions be on the way? This doesn’t necessarily mean that fans will stop coming to Comic-Con completely, but certain fandoms may begin to forgo the event in favor of conventions tailored more specifically to their favorite entertainment.