Cats, one of the hottest musicals to ever hit Broadway, is now officially becoming a movie with a cast that includes Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, James Corden and Taylor Swift. This impressive list of stars will sing and dance their way through one of the most beloved musicals of all time.
The first performance of Cats, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was in 1981 in London's West End. The musical moved to Broadway in 1982, where it ran for a total of 18 years, making it the fourth-longest running show in Broadway history. It went on to run for 20 years in London. Acclaimed theater actresses Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley were once cast members. Cats is so popular that it has been translated into 20 languages. It's also made a lot of money during its time on stage: The musical grossed approximately $342.2 million.
According to Deadline, a new musical production is now headed to Hollywood. The Cats movie will feature a star-studded cast with Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) directing. Hooper previously adapted Les Miserables to the big screen, which ended up landing Oscars for its cast and crew, along with a score of other awards, including Golden Globes and BAFTAs. The Cats movie project began two years ago, but with the cast now confirmed, filming should start soon.
Cats follows the story of a tribe of cats, the Jellicles. This tribe has come together for the Jellicle Ball, where their leader will choose one cat to gain an additional life to the nine it already has. The story comes alive through a series of songs and dances by human actors with elaborate costumes and makeup.
Previous rumors about a Cats musical once attached actress Anne Hathaway to the production, but it seems that she is not part of this adaptation. Those rumors may stem from her role as Catwoman in the Christopher Nolan Batman flick The Dark Knight Rises - though she also had a role in Hooper's Les Miserable. It does seem that the Cats movie casting department decided to go with some pretty big names, though. Most of those actors already have previous experience in musical theatre, save for Swift, whose only acting experience comes from Saturday Night Live sketches and music videos.
Considering Hooper's track record with Les Miserables as well as the popularity of the cast, the Cats movie should make for some entertaining viewing. Felines are more popular than ever, so it's time that those not familiar with their famous musical get a chance to see it come alive on the big screen.