A film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s indomitable Cats—a prospect that’s treated like a punchline in John Guare’s wonderful Six Degrees of Separation—is very much happening, with Les Misérables director Tom Hooper at the helm and the likes of Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, and Taylor Swift willing to don those furry get-ups. Hooper’s laser pointer has now attracted yet another impressive cast member in Dame Judi Dench, who Variety announces has also joined the cast.
The Oscar-winning actress has a history with the production, as she was initially slated to star in the musical’s 1981 London debut but had to drop out due to a snapped Achilles Tendon. Though she was set to play “Glamour Cat” Grizabella in that production, the word on the street is that she’ll step into the role of Old Deuteronomy, the gang’s “wise and respected leader.”
Cats is based on T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, and to explain the plot is to sort through words like “Jellicles” and “cat heaven” so just rest assured that, yes, the songs are very pretty.