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A Hollywood Movie adaption[1] of "Cats", directed by Tom Hooper, is set to begin filming late 2018, with a planned release date of 20th December 2019[2]. The project is being adapted by Lee Hall, with choreography by Wayne McGregor.

The project was first rumoured in December 2013 in the Guardian[3], and more recently took hold in May 2016 by Variety[4], and little has been heard while the project has been in development.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has announced he is writing a new song for the film[5], to be sung by Victoria the White Cat. This would make the movie score eligible for the Oscars.

Casting

Little fixed information is available, but rumours include casting Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella[6]; Taylor Swift[7], James Corden[8] and Ian McKellen[9] are also mentioned in connection to this project. Auditions for an un-named role took place in July 2018; this is likely to be for the role of Victoria the White Cat, or Jemima.

Speculation

  • Ian McKellan would seem an ideal casting for Gus the Theatre Cat, the role played by Sir John Mills in the 1998 film.
  • James Corden would bring the needed humour and absurdity to Bustopher Jones, the Cat About Town. The Guardian speculate he might be "the Villainous Rum Tum Tugger", which is extremely unlikely.
  • Jennifer Hudson seems likely to be cast as Grizabella and therefore sing "Memory", however this is from the angle of the most likely role for the actress, rather than the best actress for the role.
  • Taylor Swift's role is unclear - she is unlikely to be a young kitten, she seems unsuited to the roles of Bombalurina or Demeter, perhaps she might be cast as Jellylorum, working closely with Ian McKellan as Gus?
  • The characters seem likely to be presented in a format that relies less on Computer Generated Imagery than initially speculated; the casting call requires strong dance skills, it seems likely that we will be seeing the performers' natural movements rather than Motion Capture, as this would not require the dancers to sing and vice versa.
  • The film promises "Astonishing new technology to transform (the) performers"[2]
  • The recent productions have seen new material added - "Street Cat Tugger", and Gus leading "Pekes and Pollicles" for example. Whether this new material is included or Lee Hall has access to the more classic version of the show will be of interest. Andrew Lloyd Webber usually promotes the latest updates at the expense of proven material.


References

  1. IMDB
  2. 2.0 2.1 Andrewlloydwebber.com News, 31/08/2018
  3. The Guardian, 3rd December 2013
  4. Variety.com, 5th May 2016
  5. Playbill.com, 5th January 2018
  6. Playbill.com, 20th July 2018
  7. Hollywood Reporter, 20th July 2018
  8. Guardian.com 20th July 2018 "Full details of the casting have yet to be announced, but it seems likely Swift will take the role of Grizabella, the once glamorous, now mangy puss whose showstopper, Memory, is perhaps the musical’s most enduring tune" - other sources pin Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, which seems more likely. "Fans have speculated that Corden will play either the rotund and chirpy mog Bustopher Jones or villain Rum Tum Tugger. The assumption is that McKellen will play Old Deuteronomy, a wise, elderly patriarch." Rum Tum Tugger is rarely considered a villain, and McKellen is a more likely candidate for Gus the Theatre Cat. Not sure which fans are being quoted here.
  9. Variety.com 20th July 2018