Judi Dench set for Cats movie

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 19 October 2018
Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench is set to star in Tom Hooper's film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Cats' musical

Dame Judi Dench is to star in the movie adaptation of 'Cats'.

The 83-year-old actress – who was due play Grizabella in the original West End production in 1981, until she was forced to withdraw through injury – is set to appear as Old Deuteronomy in Tom Hooper's film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's famous musical, according to Deadline.

Deuteronomy was played by Brian Blessed in the original musical, so some lines look likely to change, particularly when the veteran moggie says he has buried "nine wives".

Idris Elba looks set to play villain feline Macavity in the movie, and his alter-ego and his minions capture Deuteronomy in the musical, which is based on 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' by T. S. Eliot.

Sir Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, and Taylor Swift are also set to appear in the motion picture, which will be produced by Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Debra Hayward, while Steven Spielberg will be one of the executive producers of the project.

Hudson is to take on the prominent role of Grizabella, also known as 'The Glamour Cat', and will be lending her powerhouse vocals to the musical's hit 'Memory'.

It's not yet known who Swift, Corden and McKellen will play, but other big parts include Skimbleshanks and the Rum Tum Tugger.

'Cats' was first performed in 1981, and follows the tale of a tribe of felines named Jellicles, who have to decide which of them should go to the mystical Heaviside Layer to be reborn.

The much-loved musical is the sixth longest-running show in West End history, and fourth longest in Broadway history.


  • 2 stars
  • 2019
  • UK / US
  • 2h
  • PG
  • Directed by: Tom Hooper
  • Cast: James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Francesca Hayward
  • UK release: 20 December 2019

Victoria (Hayward) is a cat who find herself caught up with the tribe of the Jellicles, who are assembling to see which of them will ascend to the Heaviside Layer. For all the sheer vigour and professionalism of the performers, the ‘nakedness’ of the cats is unnerving and the end result is more flabbergasting than truly…

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