Dame Judi Dench is the latest addition to the cast of the big screen adaptation of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway hit Cats. She will be joining Taylor Swift, James Corden, and Idris Elba who have already been cast in the film.
Dench’s casting lets the actress finally fulfill a chance to be in the show that was originally denied her nearly four decades ago. She had originally been cast as Grizabella – the cat who sings the musical’s show-stopping number “Memories” – in the show’s original 1981 London West End production of the show but had to drop out shortly before previews began due to an injury to her Achilles tendon.
Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the musical was a pop cultural phenomenon, with the London production running for 21 years and its Broadway cousin running for 18 years.
Tom Hooper is set to direct, with production set to start in London next month. It is set for a December 20, 2019 release.