Jellicles old and Jellicles new! Nearly four decades after Cats opened on Broadway, the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is headed to the big screen with Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson and Idris Elba donning whiskers for the cinematic adaptation.
The success of the stage version of the story is remarkable: The original Broadway production ran from 1982 to 2000, racking up more than $388 million, earning the Tony Award for Best Musical, and holding the record for the longest-running show on the Great White Way for nearly a decade.
Now the musical — originally based on the 1939 T. S. Eliot poetry book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats — is getting its own film adaptation. Universal Pictures and Working Title Films announced the production in May 2016, tapping Oscar-winning filmmaker Tom Hooper to direct and adding big stars like Swift and Hudson.
“Obviously, I loved the show, I loved the music, and one of the things that made Cats so special when it came out in the ’80s was that it was presented in a way people hadn’t seen before,” Swift told Entertainment Weekly in May 2019.
For those new to the story, Cats’ official IMDb logline lays out the premise: “A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.”
Production of Cats started in December 2018 and wrapped in April 2019, so now it’s just a waiting game until the film’s release. While we count down the days, get up to speed on the details of the film adaptation — or refresh your “Memory” — with the photo gallery below.