After the success of his Les Misérables adaptation in 2012, it made sense that Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper‘s next project was widely rumoured to be another broadway adaptation: this time of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Cats. However he went on to make The Danish Girl and talk of the musical project died down. Until now.
The project looks like it has finally come together. Per Deadline, Taylor Swift, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson and James Cordon will headline the film, from a script penned by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot).
Currently the fourth longest running Broadway show in history, Cats is itself an adaptation of sorts, having been based on the T.S. Elliot poetry collection, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
The show follows a tribe of cats called the Jellicles over the course of one night as they decide which of their group will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life, and initially burst onto the scene in 1981 and has been popular ever since.
There’s no other news regarding the adaptation, so it’s unclear how much CGI will be used (if at all), or whether the effects and make up will be practical. Either way, Hooper’s success with Les Mis makes this an easy decision for Working Title and Universal to make, even if he isn’t the most exciting director around.
Production is scheduled to begin this autumn in the UK. Expect a release date sometime near awards season in 2019, or potentially 2020 if a lot of post-production work is required.