Arts & Culture

Everything We Know So Far About the New Cats Movie, Starring Taylor Swift and Judi Dench

The all-star cast and Les Misérables director Tom Hooper have Broadway fans excited.
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While we're waiting for a peek of the new film adaptation of Cats (who doesn't want to see Judi Dench and Idris Elba in that crazy makeup?), there's still plenty of jellicle-related gossip to catch up on.

Here's everything else we know about the film so far:

IT'S BEING DIRECTED BY VETERAN FILMMAKER TOM HOOPER.

You might know him from little projects like The King's Speech and The Danish Girl, not to mention his first acclaimed adaption, 2012's Les Misérables. After the success of the latter, Broadway fans trust him to handle another beloved musical.


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Cats cast members during the play’s Paris season at the Theatre de Paris.

JUDI DENCH HAS BEEN CAST AS DEUTERONOMY, A ROLE USUALLY PLAYED BY A MAN.

The revered actress is the most recent addition to the cast. Her gender-flipped role is intriguing, and raises questions about what else director Tom Hooper plans to change in his adaptation.

Deuteronomy is the leader of the Jellicles (the group of cats featured in the musical, based on the characters in T.S. Eliot's book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats). The feline is wise and well-respected—not unlike Dench herself.

TAYLOR SWIFT IS ALSO ONBOARD, BUT HER ROLE ISN'T SET IN STONE.

What we do know is that she'll sing "Macavity the Mystery Cat," which is performed by the characters Bombalurina and Demeter. At this point, she could wind up in either part.

If it seems a little loose, it's because it is. "Well, basically, Tom Hooper thought it was a really good idea, and of course, she loves cats," said Andrew Lloyd Webber, the writer of the original musical. It's true—Taylor Swift loves her cats.

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IDRIS ELBA WILL LIKELY PLAY MACAVITY, THE SUBJECT OF SWIFT'S SONG.

In the musical, Macavity is the "master criminal." Given Elba's undeniable handsomeness, it makes perfect sense that he'd play the bad-boy character described in the sultry song.

IAN MCKELLEN IS PREPARING TO EMBRACE HIS INNER CAT.

McKellen will play Gus the Theatre Cat, and he promises that he's "learning how to sing and move in a feline way." Whatever that means, it should be enjoyable to watch.'

Who are you more excited to see sing in 'Cats?'

Ian McKellen, hands down.

Taylor Swift—she never hits a bad note.

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THE CAST IS STILL GROWING.

Comedian James Corden and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson have also signed on to the coming film, adding even more star-power to an already stacked cast. Hudson is reportedly playing Grizabella, but Corden's role is still under wraps. There is speculation that he may play Rum Tum Tugger, after reports that Lloyd Webber saw him perform "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" in the role.

Mette Towley, who is currently best known as a choreographer, has been tapped to play young kitten Jemima. Fellow up-and-comer Laurie Davidson, who debuted in 2017 as the star of TNT's Will, has also joined the project as a yet-to-be-announced character.

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THE ADAPTATION WILL INCLUDE A NEW SONG.

Lloyd Weber has written a new tune of his classic musical just for this movie. The title has yet to be announced, but we do know that it will be sung by the all-white kitten Victoria.

IT'S COMING OUT JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, 2019.

The release date has been set for December 20, 2019, making the film a prime holiday box office contender. The movie adaptation of Wicked was previously slated for that day, but has since been pushed back. Thankfully, we're getting another Broadway hit in its place.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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