Cats Cats

Cats may be out in theaters, but that doesn’t mean the vfx artists and animators are finished working on the film.

Universal has notified theaters that they will be sending a new version of the Tom Hooper-directed film to theaters on Sunday with “some improved visual effects.” The memo sent to exhibitors was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the story.

The changes don’t affect the running time, but there are updates to certain unspecified shots that Hooper was not able to finish in time for the film’s debut yesterday. Universal has not commented on the extent of the changes in the new version.

THR added, “The move is unheard of for a finished title already in release, according to cinema operators and Hollywood studio executives. Insiders say it is being done at Hooper’s request.”

Universal is asking exhibitors to download the new version of the film via a satellite server, while theaters that can’t do so will receive a new hard drive of the film by next Tuesday.

Mill Film and MPC worked on the visual effects and animation in Cats.

We’re not sure if two films makes a trend, but redos of vfx-driven films are becoming more commonplace. Earlier this year, Paramount decided to redesign the main character in the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog after it had already released a trailer to the public. In the case of both Cats and Sonic, the burden falls on the shoulders of vfx artists, who have to work overtime to correct poor planning and decisionmaking at an earlier stage of the filmmaking process.

Another hybrid film that went right down to the wire was Columbia Pictures’s Peter Rabbit. In an interview with Cartoon Brew, director Will Gluck spoke frankly about how he couldn’t stop iterating and changing the film until the very last moment, and how the animation studio Animal Logic had to constantly redo shots.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Industrial Light & Magic was one of the studios involved in the production.

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