“They’re not real cats” – Ian McKellen defends ‘Cats’ controversial use of CGI

The trailer for the new film caused quite a stir

Ian McKellen has defended the controversial use of CGI in the new live-action Cats movie.

The special effects on the film were criticised heavily when its trailer dropped this summer.

The legendary actor, who is set to play Gus the Theatre Cat in the new adaptation of the Broadway musical, has explained the thought process behind the types of special effects that were used in the film.


McKellen explains that Cats director Tom Hooper used digital technology to show how the human characters in the film were exploring their feline side.

Taylor Swift Cats movie trailer
Taylor Swift in ‘Cats’.

“The stage show, Cats, was not about a lot of people being convincing as cats, but it was about human beings discovering their cat-like nature,” McKellen told Entertainment Tonight. “And it was hugely successful.

He continued: “When it was now being done in the film, the temptation I think must have been to turn those actors into cats, like Lion King, and make them look like real cats, but they’re not real cats. They’re people playing cats, and that is the notion of the film, and it’s been done very wittingly, I think, and particularly the dancers.”

It was recently revealed that Taylor Swift wrote a song with Andrew Lloyd Webber for Cats. ‘Beautiful Ghosts’ will play during the end credits of the film.


Cats features Swift, Idris Elba and more, and hits screens on December 20.