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Andrew Lloyd Webber hated the Cats movie so much that he bought a dog

Judi Dench in Cats
(Image credit: Universal)

Theater mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber is not a fan of the Cats movie – so much so that it made him get a dog. Based on his 1981 musical of the same name, the movie was panned by critics with a rating of 20% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes and it reportedly lost Universal Pictures over $100 million.

"Cats was off-the-scale all wrong," Lloyd Webber said in a recent interview with Variety. "There wasn’t really any understanding of why the music ticked at all. 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."

He added: "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. 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.'"

The 2019 movie features an A-list ensemble cast including Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson, and James Corden. Lloyd Webber's other musicals include The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The next musical extravaganza to hit the big screen is Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, which arrives on December 10. You can also check out our list of the other upcoming movies on their way for further viewing inspiration.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.