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Kevin Spacey Plays A Part-CGI Cat in the French Film ‘Nine Lives’

If you’ve been keeping up with film trailers in the past week, chances are you’ve seen some of the commentary about Nine Lives, the Barry Sonnenfeld-directed movie that stars Kevin Spacey as a “daredevil billionaire” trapped in the body of a cat named Mr. Fuzzypants:

Produced by French company Europacorp, it’s part of a continued effort by European producers to make “American-style” English films that play across global markets. One of the most successful examples of this trend, so far, has been Studiocanal’s family film, Paddington, which grossed nearly $260 million worldwide.

Much of the recent discussion about Nine Lives has been centered around how ridiculous and awful it looks — fair points, of course — but we feel it deserves a mention on Cartoon Brew because it’s a movie that uses animation to bring to life its main star. According to this USA Today piece, about 20% of Mr. Fuzzypants’ scenes use animation, while the rest of his performance is portrayed by a rotating group of five Siberian cats.

Method Studios, which contributes vfx to plenty of high-profile Hollywood blockusters like San Andreas, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Iron Man 3, is responsible for the animation and visual effects. The visual effects talent runs deep on the movie: Nine Lives’ visual effects supervisors are Craig Hayes and Erik-Jan de Boer.

Hayes is an industry veteran who spent many years at Tippett Studios, and whose credits include RoboCop, Jurassic Park, Starship Troopers, Hollow Man, and The Matrix Revolutions. Erik-Jan De Boer won an Oscar and BAFTA for his animation direction of the tiger, Richard Parker, in Life of Pi. De Boer has the perfect resume for animating a photorealistic animal, having worked in a supervisory capacity at Rhythm & Hues on CG animal-starring films like Stuart Little, Scooby-Doo, Cats & Dogs, and Babe: Pig in the City.

Nine Lives opens in the United States on August 5, 2016, one week before Disney releases its live-action/CG reboot of Pete’s Dragon.

  • Jacob Bonyund

    Between this, Call of Duty, House of Cards S3, and a couple ads, I can safely say Kevin Spacey has lost his magic.

  • Anyone remember that bit from southpark about rob Schneider? about 3 seconds into this trailer, that was the first thing I thought of
    ” Kevin spacey was a big shot CEO on top of the world! but one day he bacame… a CAT?! and he’s about to find out that being a cat is a lot harder than it looks!”
    he learns money is not the most important thing, goes to his kid’s baseball game, and learns the importance of family, derpedy durp, why keep making these movies, aren’t there enough?

  • Rae

    This got my hopes up for an actual “Last Will and Testameow” film

  • Thomas Hufnagl

    Christopher Walken: This is what makes it so perfect….
    Don´t you mean ” PURRFECT”?

    I had two thoughts when I was watching the trailer:

    1. So it´s like the 2006 Tim Allen “Shaggy Dog” movie……except with a cat ?!
    2. Somebody really liked the Ameowadeus sketch with Kevin Spacey as the ” Keyboard Cat”

  • Steven Bowser

    So…it’s Garfield 3?

  • J.S

    It’s like a weird hybrid between Garfield and that Disney movie in which Tim Allen transforms into a dog.

  • Cindy M. Sinclair

    Clearly, someone collected partial payment on Spacey’s deal with Satan.