Following Cats, Taylor Swift Signs On For (Possible) Movie Redemption With Margot Robbie And More A-Listers

Taylor Swift in Cardigan music video
(Image credit: (TS/Republic))

This past year has been huge for Taylor Swift's music career, between the release of her two quarantine albums folklore and evermore, her Netflix documentary Miss Americana and the pending re-releases of her first six albums following rights being sold. The 31-year-old singer has now signed on to be in a movie for the first time since Cats, and we’re rooting for better results than the bombed musical this time around. Much, much better. And this time there's also a lot of A-list talent involved, including Margot Robbie.

Taylor Swift has reportedly joined the all-star cast of David O. Russell’s untitled next movie, alongside Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Chris Rock, Michael Shannon and Robert De Niro. The Wrap report does not detail Swift’s role, but the movie is an original story by the Silver Linings Playbook filmmaker.

The 11-time Grammy winner is obviously not primarily an actress given her mega music career, but over the years, she has appeared in a handful of movies and TV shows. Aside from her experience starring in music videos, she was in 2010’s rom-com Valentine’s Day, had a voice role in The Lorax, appeared in The Giver, guest starred in CSI and New Girl, and even hosted SNL back in 2009. But her most infamous role recently was Cats, which suffered horrendous reviews and a disastrous release.

Cats on paper could have been a success. It was directed by Les Misérables's Tom Hopper from a popular Broadway musical, and starred a huge cast that included Dame Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson and Ian McKellen. But low and behold, the production reportedly went through a fuss behind-the-scenes including word of the “butthole cut.”

Tom Hopper’s musical adaptation garnered early criticism when the first Cats trailer depicted some haunting CGI human/cat hybrids. The director worked to mend the film up until the day before its premiere, and an updated cut of the film was sent to theaters after it had already hit theaters. Cats only made $73 million worldwide in theaters against a reported budget of $95 million, sending its earnings into the negative for Universal during the holiday season.

Despite its failure, Taylor Swift did earn a Golden Globe nomination for her original song “Beautiful Ghosts,” which she co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Following the release, Swift has shared she has “no complaints” about having her name on the movie considering her own personal experience starring in it as Bombalurina. And to be fair, she was one of the stronger elements of the movie.

Thankfully, Taylor Swift’s latest movie sounds nothing like Cats. It’s reportedly about an unlikely relationship between a doctor and a lawyer. It has already begun filming and photos of the cast in costume indicate the story will be set in the Great Depression era. David O. Russell has continuously been an award favorite among Hollywood with his previous films Joy, American Hustle and The Fighter, so here's hoping this one is a win for Swift.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.