Anne Hathaway is in talks to star in the upcoming movie adaptation of Cats. When acquiring the rights for a film, there are no guarantees for when that film will be produced and released. This has been the case for the highly successful Broadway show and highly anticipated film adaptation Cats. Purchased by Universal Pictures in 2016, there was high anticipation following the announcement of Academy Award winning director Tom Hooper, who had won for his film The King's Speech in 2011, to direct the scripted adaptation of Cats from screenwriter Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). Since then, the updates have been few and far between.
Today, after a long silence, it was announced that Anne Hathaway was in talks for an undisclosed role in the film. Hathaway had previously been directed by Hooper in Les Misérables playing the ill-fated Fatine - a role that garnered her her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Anne Hathaway is no stranger to performing vocally within a film having lended her pipes to Les Misérables in 2012 and Elle Enchanted in 2004. Playing a cat would also not be to far off from her former roles as she was previously casted for the role of Catwoman in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises back in 2012.
This announcement, reported by THS, was coupled with the reveal that the studio is also considering casting Rihanna in the upcoming film as well. While her potential role was also not disclosed, this would reunite her and Hathaway for the first time since their recent box office success Ocean's 8 - an all-female spinoff of the widely successful Ocean's 11. Ocean's 8 claimed the top spot at the box office last weekend pulling in a domestic total of $41.5 million.
Cats follows the story of a tribe of felines named Jellicles who face the decision of climbing to the Heaviside Layer and returning to a new life cycle. Originally adapted for the stage, Cats is based off a poetry collection penned by T.S. Elliot called Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. While first performed on the West Side, Cats would go on to to become one of Broadway's longest running shows.
In its history, Cats has not been limited to the boundaries of New York. While previously adapted for television in 1998, its success has transcended location and language as well, performing in 30 countries and translated to more than 20 languages. More than 73 million people worldwide have seen Cats performed, an incredible statistic that lends to a potentially successful film globally.
With no current release date, the announcements of casting talks between the studio and Hathaway and Rihanna has relit the spark of hope and anticipation for further news and announcements - sooner rather than later.