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19 December 2019, 13:41 | Updated: 19 December 2019, 13:46
From Sir Ian McKellen to Taylor Swift, the new film adaptation of Cats is set to star some of biggest names from the acting and singing worlds.
The film is expected to feature all the songs from the original stage musical, including ‘Memory’. From the release date to who’s in the cast, here’s everything we know so far.
Cats will be released in UK and US cinemas on 20 December 2019.
The all-star cast of Cats, which includes Taylor Swift and James Corden, was announced gradually throughout 2018.
Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar in 2007 for her role as Effie in Dreamgirls, will portray Grizabella, the former ‘glamour cat’ who sings ‘Memory’.
Meanwhile, Idris Elba will play Macavity the Mystery Cat, with Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat.
Corden joked on The Ellen DeGeneres Show about his 'method' preparation for playing a cat, saying: "I'm like Daniel Day-Lewis. I immerse the character. You know what I mean? I've just been living as a cat. I don't use the bathroom. I have a litter tray."
Jason Derulo, who recently released a pop take on Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Time to Say Goodbye’, will play Rum Tum Tugger, a rebellious cat who is never satisfied. Plus, Rebel Wilson has been cast as Jennyanydots, the old Gumbie cat who has a penchant for dancing, cooking and teaching mice when all the other cats are sleeping.
A number of professional dancers from the Royal Ballet in Covent Garden have also been cast in the movie.
Principal dancer Frankie Hayward will play a white kitten called Victoria, who will act as a go-between for the different breeds of cat who gather in a junkyard ruled by Old Deuteronomy, played by Judi Dench.
Hayward will also be joined by Olivia Cowley and Steven McRae, both soloists at the Royal Ballet.
Based on T.S. Eliot’s book of children’s poems Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the musical follows a posse of cats called the Jellicles, whose leader Old Deuteronomy must decide which of the cats will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn.
Since its opening in the West End in 1981, Cats has been translated into more than 20 languages and performed all around the world. It is now the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history, and one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most successful musicals.
The movie will be directed by Tom Hooper, director of 2012 movie musical Les Misérables, which starred Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. The screenplay will be written by Billy Elliot’s Lee Hall.
Cats was last seen on the West End in 2014, when it returned for a limited run starring Nicole Scherzinger.