Taylor Swift to star in film version of 'Cats' alongside Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, and Ian McKellen
'Cats,' the famous musical is getting a movie makeover by Working Title's Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, who previously brought 'Les Miserables' to the big screen
There's a new 'Cats' musical film happening, but that's not the only good news. Singer Taylor Swift has been cast in the movie alongside Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and Ian McKellen in Working Title’s upcoming movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.
Tom Hooper, the Oscar-winning director of 'The King’s Speech, is set to direct 'Cats,' which is slated to begin shooting in Britain in November. The screenplay by Lee Hall, who is best known for his 2000 film 'Billy Elliot,' is based on Lloyd Webber’s musical, which was itself adapted from a book of children’s poems by T.S. Eliot.
Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar in 2007 for her breakout role in 'Dreamgirls, will be playing the role of Grizabella, the former “glamour cat” who falls on hard times and gets to sing about it in showstopper “Memory.”
However, the roles Swift, Corden and McKellen will be playing haven't been confirmed yet. Other characters of 'Cats' include Old Deuteronomy, Macavity, Skimbleshanks and the Rum Tum Tugger.
This movie will be the 28-year-old Swift's first lead acting role. Previously her screen credit came when she voiced the environmentalist Audrey in the 2012 animation 'The Lorax'.
'Cats' is one of the most successful musicals in history, enjoying long runs both in Broadway and London’s West End. The show opened in the West End in 1981 and it ran for 21 years. It was on Broadway for 18 years and the musical has been translated into more than 20 languages.
The making of a movie version had long been pending. But now, Working Title’s Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan will bring another musical on screen. In 2012, they had grandly translated “Les Miserables,” to the big screen. The movie was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards and won a statuette for Anne Hathaway as best supporting actress.
The original story of 'Cats' goes back to Eliot’s 'Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,' published in 1939; it is a collection of poems about creatures known as “Jellicle cats” and their secret world.The collection lacked an overarching story line but Lloyd Webber’s stitched the poems together in a musical, running the plot into a tale of cats seeking some sort of feline redemption in the “Heaviside layer,” somewhere above London, “up, up, up past the Russell Hotel.”