Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash hit musical Cats is one of the most successful and well-known musicals ever, so it seemed inevitable that it would get the feature film treatment at some point. However, while such a film has been long discussed, development has been slow going. That has changed though, as the casting process has begun, with the film lining up several big names with the kind of serious singing chops you would want for such a famous musical. Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen and James Corden have all been cast in Cats.
Variety reports that Jennifer Hudson will play the major part of Grizabella, a former glamour cat that has fallen on hard times. Assuming it will be in the film (it will be), Jennifer Hudson's character should get the honor of singing "Memory," Grizabella's showstopper song that is considered to be the most famous and best song from the musical. The roles for Taylor Swift, Ian McKellen and James Corden have not yet been revealed.
Cats is set to begin shooting in Britain in November and it is already off to a marvelous start with this cast. In these four names, the film has lined up talented singers, actors and stage thespians with plenty of experience to their credit. Jennifer Hudson has already proven her singing and acting talents countless times before, winning an Oscar for her performance in the musical Dreamgirls. Taylor Swift is one of the most popular singers alive, with ten Grammy awards to her name, and she is also a documented cat enthusiast. James Corden is an increasing presence in films having been in the musical Into the Woods, and he is also the host of the inexplicably popular Carpool Karaoke segment on his Late Late Show. And of course, Ian McKellen's stage and screen credits are too many to name, and his addition to this film only elevates it.
Cats tells the story of a group of felines called the Jellicles who have to decide which among them will find redemption by ascending to the metaphorical "Heaviside layer." Lee Hall, the screenwriter behind War Horse and the upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman, wrote the screenplay for Cats based on Andrew Lloyed Webber's musical, which itself was based on a book of children's poems by T.S. Eliot. The King's Speech and Les Misérables director Tom Hooper was brought on board to direct the film two years ago and is still set to direct, although not everyone is thrilled about that.