Jason Derulo will be making his feature acting debut in the upcoming live-action musical film Cats, an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musical, according to a report from Variety. Derulo will be lending his talent to the role of rebellious feline Rum Tum Tugger, a black tomcat with leopard-like spots on his chest.
The movie is set to begin production in December and will be produced by Working Title Films in a partnership with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group. The film will be executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Lloyd Webber, and Angela Morrison. Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler has also signed on as the choreographer. Distribution will be handled by Universal Pictures.
Cats is one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history. It is based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and first premiered at the New London Theatre in 1981, where it played for 21 record-breaking years. While there, the production won the Olivier and Evening Standard Theatre awards for best musical. In 1983, the Broadway production earned seven Tony awards, including best musical.
The current cast features several other huge names, including Idris Elba, who will be playing the villainous Macavity, and Jennifer Hudson who will shine in the role of Grizabella, an old, gray cat who longs for the vibrancy of youth. The cast also features Taylor Swift, James Corden, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, and Francesca Hayward.
After the casting announcement, the singer took to Instagram to share his excitement. He posted a collage of the cast with the text, “The Cats cast is just purrfect.”
Derulo has had quite a successful career and can be credited with hits like “Whatcha Say” and “Talk Dirty,” which went quadruple-platinum, and “Want to Want Me” and “Ridin Solo,” which went triple-platinum, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
His song “Colors” was used as the 2018 FIFA World Cup anthem and has reportedly been streamed over 115 million times. His latest track, “Goodbye,” which features Nicki Minaj and Willy William, also has a huge number of streams on Spotify.
In the past, Derulo has been romantically linked to American Idol star Jordin Sparks. The pair dated for three years before calling it quits in 2014. While talking to Billboard, the singer said the relationship is completely behind him.
“I do get tired of playing nice,” he said. “Especially when people think I did something wrong, or that she broke up with me. But it’s so behind me.”