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Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift and James Corden to star in Cats musical film

Tom Hooper is to direct the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical

Zizi Strallen, Ian McKellen and Judi Dench
(© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage)

Casting for Tom Hooper's film version of Cats has been announced.

According to reports from the Daily Mail and Variety, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, James Corden and Ian McKellen have all been cast in Working Title's film.

It has been confirmed that Mary Poppins star Zizi Strallen has joined the film, playing the role of Tantomile, alongside Royal Ballet principals Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae.

Hooper, who directed Les Misérables and The King's Speech began shooting in November with the film slated for a Christmas 2019 release. Lee Hall (Billy Elliott) has adapted the screenplay from Lloyd Webber's musical.

Originally opening in 1981, Cats has music from Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics from TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. The story follows a group of cats deciding who will ascend to the Heavyside Layer. Elaine Paige played Grizabella in the original London cast alongside Brian Blessed, Sarah Brightman, Wayne Sleep, Bonnie Langford and Paul Nicholas.