The movie version of the hit musical Cats is gathering a cast of big names to bring the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber to the big screen. Taylor Swift, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, and Ian McKellen are all onboard to bring those musical cats to life.
PageSix says that there are also stars on the other side of the camera, including director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and screenwriter Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). The current plan is to start shooting in the U.K. this November to share the stories of T.S. Eliot’s Cats.
As for who will play which cat role, it seems up in the air, with only Jennifer Hudson linked to the role of Grizabella, who belts out “memories.” The musical Cats was a huge hit on Broadway and in London’s West End, and the movie version is being launched by the same production company which brought Les Miserables to the screen.
The Daily Mail is guessing that Ian McKellen likely has his eye on the role of Gus the theatre cat.
“Eliot’s tale features a variety of cats: tabby, marmalade, ginger and Siamese, delighting in names such as The Rum Tum Tugger, tricky Mr Mistoffelees, Macavity the mystery cat, Gus the theatre cat (I’m guessing McKellen might play him, if he’s confirmed for the film), Bustopher Jones the cat about town and The Old Gumbie Cat, Jennyanydots.”
Auditions have already started for dancers and singers for the many musical sequences, according to the Daily Mail.
“I’m told it’s an ‘all-singing, all-dancing’ extravaganza.”
The hope is to start rehearsals next month in order to be ready to film in November at Leavesden Studios. The movie version of Cats is also said to include additional lines and music that were cut from the stage version.
“Maestro Lloyd Webber has been working closely with Hooper and his associates and will orchestrate his score for the film. Plus (as I reported back in January) he has written a new number that will be sung by perky white kitten Victoria (perhaps Swift?).”
Perhaps James Corden was hinting at this role as he put on a show in May to celebrate the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber at a royal reception, says Daily Mail.
Corden dressed as Rum Tum Tugger from Cats, Eva Peron from Evita, and Joseph from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Corden obviously loves a good costume as he spoke at the royal wedding reception of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry dressed as Henry VIII.
“Your royal highnesses, ladies and gentlemen, I had no idea what to wear to a royal wedding so I looked it up in the royal etiquette manual and found this outfit. I hope I’ve come in the right gear.”