Tom Hooper Will Bring The Jellicle Cats Out To Play For Feature Adaptation


Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic Cats musical is headed to the big screen – and it’s found a director to take the reins in Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, The Danish Girl).

Inking a deal that will also see him produce the feature adaptation, Hooper’s latest creative venture has set up shop at Universal Pictures and Working Title, who together will lure the Jellicle Cats out to play at some point in 2017.

To unearth the origins of the stage show you’d have to go back further than Webber’s ever-popular musical – all the way back to  T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. It first walked the boards of the West End in 1981, and in offering a new lease of life to the felines, Working Title has appointed Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner to produce, alongside Debra Hayward and Cameron Mackintosh, who produced music for the original.

Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show is set amongst a larger- than-life junkyard playground and is alive with our favourite feline characters including Rum Tum Tugger, Mr. Mistoffelees, Macavity, Jennyanydots, Old Deuteronomy, Grizabella and Skimbleshanks.

The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year – the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

Exactly how Hooper and his team will rework Cats for theaters is still up for question. Sources close to the nascent project suggest that all options are currently under consideration, including a visual hybrid that could blend live-action sequences with CGI in a similar vein to Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book.

The Heaviside Layer beckons! Yes, Eliot’s clowder of Cats is bound for the silver screen via Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper.