Andrew Lloyd Webber was not happy with 'unfunny' additions to James Corden's song in 'Cats'

Tom Beasley
Andrew Lloyd Webber has criticised James Corden's musical number in the movie version of 'Cats'. (Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Universal)

It seems Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber had some reservations about the way his iconic musical Cats was handled on the big screen, particularly in James Corden’s big song.

The theatre legend criticised “unfunny interpolations” added to the performance of Bustopher Jones in “other productions” of the story, clearly referring to Tom Hooper’s critically savaged movie.

Read more: Hugh Jackman turned down Cats

Webber made the comments while hosting a live commentary on YouTube for the 1998 filmed version of the Cats stage show.

“This is much closer to what I wrote than other productions,” he said. “Bustopher without interruption, as I wrote it.”

James Corden as Bustopher Jones in 'Cats'. (Credit: Universal)

He added: “Do not be beguiled by other versions. Other versions with unfunny interpolations which I begged to be cut out.

“I did manage to get the worst of them removed. I cannot tell you how absolutely un-Eliot it all was in this song.”

Webber said his preferred version of the character “didn’t hang around on a seesaw”, as Corden’s take on Jones does in the movie.

Read more: Webber makes musicals available for free

Corden himself has expressed mixed views about the movie, saying in December that he hadn’t seen it, but had heard it was “terrible”.

James Corden attends the world premiere of "Cats" at Alice Tully Hall on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

In February, he said he doesn’t regret making the film during a segment of The Late Late Show in which he appeared alongside Justin Bieber.

He said: “You've got to decide things based on your own personal experience and I had a really great time.

“So I don't regret doing it at all because I decided to do it in the same way that I've decided to do many things, and some have worked and some haven't.”

Read more: Movies so terrible people can’t make it to the end

The British actor poked fun at Cats when he presented the award for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars earlier this year, alongside co-star Rebel Wilson.

James Corden, left, and Rebel Wilson present the award for best visual effects at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The duo wore versions of their costumes for the films and quipped: “As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects”.

Cats received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics when it hit cinemas in December, earning just a 21% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes.

It also floundered at the box office, earning just $74m (£58m) worldwide.

The film won five gongs at the Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture and Worst Supporting Actor for Corden, with one review notably calling it “the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs”.