Jellicles can and Jellicles do make their cinematic debut in Cats, out December 20. The film’s accompanying soundtrack drops the same day, featuring stars Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Judi Dench and more.
The film, adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical of the same name based on T.S. Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, follows a litter of Jellicles as they show off their individual talents at the Jellicle Ball until one is chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer, signaling their rebirth. Check out reviews for the film here.
Tom Hooper directs an all-star cast, including Oscar winner Hudson stars as Grizabella the Glamour Cat, pop star Swift as Bombalurina, stage and screen veteran Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat, Tony winner James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Tony and Oscar winner Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots, Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Tony nominee Robert Fairchild as Munkustrap, Laurie Davidson as Mr. Mistoffelees, Mette Towley as Jemima, Idris Elba as Macavity, and Royal Ballet's Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae as Victoria and Skimbleshanks.
Broadway fans will recognize songs like “Memory” on the soundtrack, but the release also includes the Golden Globe-nominated new track “Beautiful Ghosts” by Swift and Webber. The song is performed in the film by Hayward as Victoria (who has an expanded role from the musical), and later reprised in the credits by Swift.
Cats received plenty of buzz in the months ahead of the big screen debut, especially for its use of Digital Fur Technology. The film was made with the actors dressed in specially-made motion capture suits and makeup that created a Jellicle transformation—from moving ears and tails—in post-production.
Check out photos from the premiere below.