"Universal has now got Cats out of the drawer in which they locked it years ago when they bought the rights and suddenly they're talking about a film," Lloyd Webber said in a recent interview. The production was previously filmed live on stage and released in 2000.
Based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats," the musical became an international phenomenon and has continuously toured the U.S. for 30 years in various union and non-union productions. In 1991 Cats became the longest-running continuous tour in U.S. history. Cats produced the stand-out single "Memory."
Cats opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre Oct. 7, 1982, where it ran for 7,485 performances before closing Sept. 10, 2000. It held the title of Broadway's longest-running musical, but was surpassed by Lloyd Webber's other hit, The Phantom of the Opera, which currently holds the title. Cats won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Lighting and Best Costumes.