Cats movie 2019: Cast, release date, songs and all you need to know

19 October 2018, 10:40

Cats cast
Picture: PA

By Tom Eames

"Memory, all alone in the moonlight..."

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical Cats is reaching the big screen in 2019.

It's one of the most successful stage musicals of all time, but who will star in the movie adaptation and what songs will appear? Here is all you need to know so far:

  1. Cats release date: When will the film hit cinemas?

    Cats logo
    Picture: Polydor

    The film's release date is currently scheduled for December 20, 2019.

    Filming will start at Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden in England on February 1.

  2. Cats cast: Who will star in the film?

    Picture: Getty

    Cats will feature a star-studded cast full of Hollywood and music legends.

    Dame Judi Dench joined the cast on October 18, and will play Old Deuteronomy. She was previously set to play Grizabella in the original West End production in 1981, but she snapped her Achilles Tendon shortly before the production began and had to withdraw.

    Idris Elba will play Macavity, Sir Ian McKellen will play Gus the Theatre Cat, and there will also be roles for Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, and Taylor Swift.

    There will also be appearances by newcomers Laurie Davidson and Mette Towley as Jemima.

  3. Cats plot: What is the film about?

    In case you've never seen Cats before, here's a quick explainer about what it's all about.

    Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats is based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot.

    The musical tells the story of a group of cats called the Jellicles, and the night they make what is known as 'the Jellicle choice', and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

    First staged in 1981, directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Gillian Lynne, it then moved with the same creative team to Broadway in 1982.

    It won many awards, including Best Musical at both the Laurence Olivier Awards and the Tony Awards. The London production ran for 21 years and the Broadway production ran for 18 years, both setting records.

    As of 2018, Cats is the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history, and was the longest running Broadway show in history from 1997 until 2006 when it was surpassed by The Phantom of the Opera. Cats is also the sixth-longest-running West End show.

    In 1998, Cats was turned into a made-for-TV film.

  4. Who is directing the film?

    Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Misérables) will direct from a script he co-wrote with Lee Hall.

    Steven Spielberg and Lloyd Webber will executive produce the film, along with Angela Morrison.

  5. Cats songs: Will songs from the musical will appear?

    It has yet to be confirmed which songs will feature in the film, but in January 2018, Lloyd Webber announced that he has composed a new song, to be sung by Victoria, the perky white kitten.

    Other songs expected to appear include:

    - 'Memory'
    - 'The Naming of Cats'
    - 'The Rum Tum Tugger'
    - 'The Moments of Happiness'
    - 'Gus: The Theatre Cat'
    - 'Macavity: The Mystery Cat'
    - 'Mr Mistoffelees'