An all-star cast is being assembled for the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's international feline hit Cats.
Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, multiple Grammy winner Taylor Swift, Tony winner James Corden, and Tony winner Sir Ian McKellen have all been cast in the forthcoming Working Title motion picture, the production company confirmed. As previously reported, the film, directed by Oscar winner Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King's Speech) and penned by Billy Elliot's Lee Hall, will begin filming in November.
No official word yet on which Jellicles the quartet will play, but it is speculated that Hudson, who won an Academy Award for her performance as Effie in the film version of Dreamgirls, will take on the faded glamour cat Grizabella, the role created in London and on Broadway by Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley, respectively. Hudson would have the chance to belt out the musical's best-known tune, the chart-topping “Memory.”
A release date has yet to be announced.
Composed by Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the original Broadway production opened in 1982 at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre (currently home to Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock), where it ran for 7,485 performances and 18 years. The musical was originally produced on Broadway by Cameron Mackintosh, The Really Useful Company Limited, David Geffen, and The Shubert Organization. A revival at the Neil Simon Theatre ran from July 2016 through December 2017.