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Royal Ballet Principal Dancer Joins Film Adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats

The movie will also star Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, and Ian McKellen, among others.

Jennifer Hudson and Ian McKellen are among the actors set for the film adaptation of Cats.
(© David Gordon)

Royal Ballet principal dancer Steven McRae will be taking on the role of Skimbleshanks, a new character, in the upcoming film adaptation of Cats, according to Deadline. Additionally, reports suggest that Cats creator Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a new song for Victoria.

McRae joins a cast that will include fellow Royal Ballet dancer Francesca Hayward as Victoria, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Idris Elba as Macavity, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Ian McKellen, and Laurie Davidson.

The film will be produced by Working Title. Tom Hooper, who directed the film version of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's Les Misérables, is slated to direct. Billy Elliot book writer and lyricist Lee Hall is penning the screenplay. As previously announced, the film will be released on Friday, December 20, 2019.

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the original Broadway production of Cats opened in 1982 at the Winter Garden Theatre. The production ran for a record-breaking 18 years and 7,485 performances and earned six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. The recent Broadway revival played at the Neil Simon Theatre from July 31, 2016, to December 30, 2017.