Idris Elba has joined the film adaptation of the musical Cats. The original musical was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and debuted in 1981. Cats revolves around a group of Jellicle cats who gather to decide which of them will journey to the Heaviside Layer to be reborn in a new life. The musical quickly gained popularity and is one of the longest running Broadway shows in history.
Initially, there were very few updates about the Cats movie, after the film was announced in 2016 with Tom Hooper attached to direct. The film has since been given a December 2019 release date, taking the spot previously reserved for Universal's Wicked adaptation. Hooper is known for directing the Oscar-winning films The King's Speech, Les Misérables, and The Danish Girl, and was once thought to be reteaming with Anne Hathaway for the Cats adaptation; however, that will not be the case. Instead, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, James Corden, and Taylor Swift will be filling out the cast. Now it appears that Elba is set to join the already star-studded cast of Cats.
First reported by Variety, Elba is in final negotiations with Universal Pictures to join the upcoming Cats movie. Elba would be playing the character named Macavity, who is a criminal mastermind. The character of Macavity previously showed up in T.S. Eliot novel Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and the following Broadway musical called Cats.
Elba has been a busy actor as of late. Aside from his role of Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most recently in Avengers: Infinity War, Elba has been working on the TV shows called In the Long Run and the popular BBC crime drama Luther. Additionally, Elba will be playing the villain in the Fast and Furious spin-off that revolves around the characters Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). The actor was also rumored to be playing the next James Bond after Daniel Craig but, unfortunately, that turned out to not be true.
With the massive star power Cats already had, Elba will surely be a good addition to the cast. He has an extensive background in acting with his career going back to 1994 and even won a Golden Globe in 2012 for his work on Luther. Elba has certainly proven himself as an actor and boasts a diverse resume, having starred in the aforementioned crime drama, the most recent Star Trek film, and even a movie about giant monsters battling robots. It's also worth mentioning that Elba voiced the tiger Shere Khan in the live-action The Jungle Book, so hopefully, his feline role in Cats will be just as well received.
- Cats (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019