Everything You Need to Know About the CATS Movie!
Jellicle cats, come one, come all! The long-awaited film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's classic musical Cats is coming to movie theaters this December, and we can barely contain our excitement to see Grizabella, Rum Tug Tugger, Old Deuteronomy, and more come to the big screen. To get you all ready to see the Jellicle Ball come to life and celebrate International Cat Day, we've gathered all the info you need to know about the movie, from the casting to behind-the-scenes info. Check it all out below!
About The CATS Movie (2019)
Cats is a film adaptation of the 1981 musical by legendary composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber based on the 1939 poetry book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. The original Broadway production ran for 18 years and 7,485 performances, making it the sixth longest-running production in Broadway history. To prepare you to head to the Jellicle Ball, check out our full guide explaining the plot of Cats!
The film is being directed by Tom Hooper, whose other recent film credits include The King's Speech and Les Miserables. Lee Hall, who wrote both the screenplay of Billy Elliot and the book of the film's musical adaptation, is writing the screenplay for Cats. Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler, known for his work on Hamilton, Bandstand, and In the Heights, is also involved in the film as its choreographer. Cats officially wrapped filming in April 2019, and the movie is set to be released on December 20th, 2019.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Taylor Swift explained "we had this thing called 'cat school' that was a class where you could learn about how to create the motions of cats, how to think like they think, how to sense things the way that they do, carry yourself the way a cat would. I learned a lot."
Taylor also spoke about the technology behind bringing the cats to life, saying "They add digital fur to us. They're completely human performances. It's not animated. And it's not motion capture. It's somehow this new way that hasn't been done before. And they're giving us a tail that moves naturally, and ears and whiskers. It was one of the coolest things I've seen." Director Tom Hooper has stated that the film utilizes "astonishing new technology to transform his cast members."
Universal recently released this behind-the-scenes featurette showcasing the cast in rehearsals and on set as they prepare to bring the Jellicle Ball to the big screen. Check it out below to see Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, and more speak about the process of working on the film!
Meet the Cast that's Bringing Cats to the Screen!
James Corden - Bustopher Jones
James Corden is a Tony Award winner for his performance in the 2012 Broadway production of One Man, Two Gunvors. He is known for his work on CBS's The Late Late Show, having served as the show's host since 2015 and created the show's recurring series 'Carpool Karaoke.' He rose to prominence with his work in the British television series Fat Friends and the BBC Three sitcom Gavin & Stacey. His other notable roles include Timms in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys in both the show's West End and Broadway productions. His film credits include Into the Woods, Trolls, Ocean's 8, Peter Rabbit, and Yesterday.
Judi Dench - Old Deutoronomy
Judi Dench is a seven-time Oscar nominee, having won for her performance in the 2006 film Shakespeare in Love. She is returning to the Junkyard with the Cats film, having played the role of Grizabella in the original 1981 West End production of Cats prior to leaving the show due to injury. She is also known for her role of M in the James Bond film franchise. Her other notable film credits include Pride & Prejudice, Philomena, Iris, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and The Murder on the Orient Express. Her stage work has garnered her eight Olivier Awards, as well as a Tony Award in 1999 for her performance in the play Amy's View.
Jason Derulo - Rum Tum Tugger
Jason Derulo is a singer and songwriter who has sold over 30 million singles and has achieved eleven Platinum singles including 'Wiggle,' 'Talk Dirty,' and 'Whatcha Say.' He is set to release his newest album 2Sides later this year, with the album's single 'Mamacita' having been released in July 2019. His song 'Colors' was the 2018 FIFA World Cup anthem and was streamed over 115 million times. His recent collaboration with David Guetta, 'Goodbye,' has already been streamed on Spotify over 60 million times. Jason is making his film acting debut with his performance as Rum Tum Tugger in Cats.
Idris Elba - Macavity
Idris Elba is a Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor known for his roles as Stringer Bell in HBO's The Wire, DCI John Luther in the BBC's Luther, and Nelson Mandela in the 2013 biopic Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. He is also known for being part of Marvel's Cinematic Universe as Heimdall, having appeared as the character in five of series' films. His other notable films include Pacific Rim, Beasts of No Nation, Molly's Game, and Zootopia. He made his directorial debut in 2018 with the film adaptation of the novel Yardie. He was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016.
Jennifer Hudson - Grizabella
Jennifer Hudson is an Academy Award winner for her film debut as Effie White in the film adaptation of the classic musical Dreamgirls. She made her Broadway debut in 2015 as Shug Avery in John Doyle's revival of The Color Purple. She initially rose to fame as a finalist on the third season of American Idol. Since her days on the reality show, she has released three solo albums, with her 2009 self-titled album winning a Grammy and her 2011 'I Remember Me' album being certified gold in the United States. She has also appeared on film in Sex and the City, The Secret Life of Bees, and Black Nativity. On TV, she has been seen in NBC's Smash and as a coach on the reality show The Voice.
Ian McKellen - Gus the Theatre Cat
Ian McKellen is two-time Oscar nominee and a Tony, Olivier, and Emmy Award winner who is known for his performances in films such as Richard III, Gods and Monsters, the X-Men franchise, the Lord of the Rings franchise, and the Hobbit franchise. He is set to make his return to Broadway for a one night only performance of Ian McKellen On Stage: With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others ...And You! on November 5, 2019 at the Hudson Theatre. His notable theatre credits include Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, The Seagull, and Waiting for Godot.
Taylor Swift - Bombalurina
Taylor Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, known for songs including 'Love Story,' 'Mean,' 'I Knew You Were Trouble,' and 'Shake It Off,' among others. She has sold more than 50 million albums and 150 million singles to date. Her other accolades include ten Grammys, one Emmy, and twenty-three Billboard Music Awards. She is set to release her next album, Lover, this year, with two of the album's singles, 'Me!' and 'You Need to Calm Down' having already been released. The music video of 'Me!' broke the Vevo record garnering over 65 million views on its first dat of release. Her previous film credits include The Giver, Lorax, and Valentine's Day.
Rebel Wilson - Jennyanydots
Rebel Wilson is a film and television actress known for her performances including Amy in the Pitch Perfect trilogy and Brynn in Bridesmaids. Her other notable film credits include What to Expect When You're Expecting, Pain & Gain, How to Be Single, Isn't it Romantic, and The Hustle. On stage, she appeared as Ursula in the Hollywood Bowl's 2016 star-studded concert version of the classic 1994 Disney animated film The Little Mermaid. She also performed in the venue's 2018 concert version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast as Lefou. She made her West End debut in 2016 as Miss Adelaide in the revival of Guys and Dolls.
Francesca Hayward - Victoria
Francesca Hayward is a principal dancer in the Royal Ballet in London's Covent Garden. She entered the Royal Ballet School at the age of 11 in 2003, progressing to the Royal Ballet Upper School in 2008 and later joining the Royal Ballet in 2010. She has been a principal dancer there since 2016, having appeared in ballets including The Nutcracker, The Winter's Tale, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Sleeping Beauty. Francesca took a temporary leave to film her part as Victoria in Cats. She returned to the Royal Ballet in May 2019 in Romeo and Juliet.
Robert Fairchild - Munkustrap
Robert Fairchild is a Tony nominee for his Broadway debut as Jerry Mulligan in An American in Paris. He later reprised his performance for the show's West End production alongside his Broadway co-star Leanne Cope, which was then filmed and shown in movie theaters and as part of Great Performances on PBS. He is also known for his work with New York City Ballet, having joined the company in 2006 and been a principal dancer from 2009 to 2017. After leaving the NYCB, Robert starred in New York City Center's production of Brigadoon. He also recently choreographed and starred in the Off-Broadway production of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.