Les Misérables filmmaker Tom Hooper, who won a directing Oscar for The King’s Speech, will direct and coproduce a big-screen adaptation of the long-running Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats for Universal Pictures, according to an unsourced report by Entertainment Weekly.
The musical, which became, for a time, Broadway's all-time long-running champ, is headed for a New York revival this summer.
Lloyd Webber (Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock), has been talking up a Cats film for several years, and, as reported by Playbill.com in 2014, said he was in serious negotiations for the project at Universal.
EW reported that “The project is still in the early stages, and there is no word yet on a screenwriter, casting, or how the filmmakers will tackle the project in terms of live-action, CGI, or a hybrid approach.”
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.