”Josie and the Pussycats, long tails, ears for hats…” So went the catchy theme to the ‘70’s cartoon girl band series, which Universal is making into a live action feature film set for an April release. EW.com spoke to the three Pussycats – Rachael Leigh Cook (Josie), Tara Reid (Melody), and Rosario Dawson (Val) – as well as the film’s villain, Alan Cumming, to get the inside scoop on the making of the film.
Although the movie begins in Riverdale (home to Archie, Jughead, and their gang), don’t expect to see Betty and Veronica competing for Pussycat concert tickets. The original comic was an ”Archies” spinoff, but the movie won’t be mentioning the Riverdale High gang. ”I was hoping we would explore that,” admits 21 year old Dawson, the sole Pussycat who’s actually a fan of the ’70s cartoon. ”But we’re not in Riverdale long enough to see these characters. Maybe if we do a sequel…we could run into them in space.” (A fan would know Dawson’s making an esoteric reference to the Pussycats’ animated follow up series, ”Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space.”)
Remaining true to the comic and the cartoon, the Pussycat band is managed by rich kid Alexander Cabot III, played by newcomer Paulo Costanzo, while ingenue Missy Pyle portrays Alex’s temperamental (read: bitchy) sis, Alexandra. To Dawson’s disappointment, though, Alexandra’s mischievous laughing cat Sebastian failed to make the cut.
But there ARE two nefarious new villains: Fiona, a record label exec played by Parker Posey (”Party Girl”), and Fiona’s lackey, Wyatt (Cumming), who opens the film by murdering the fictional boy band Du Jour (featuring cameos by ”Austin Powers”’ Seth Green and ”Road Trip”’s Breckin Meyer). ”I eject from an airplane and then they all crash,” says Cumming. In desperate need of a new act for his label, Wyatt sets his eyes on the Pussycats. Yikes! Does this mean our kitties are in danger? ”Only if they misbehave,” says Cumming. ”You see, the boy band was misbehaving, that’s why I had to kill them. They started asking too many questions.”