Jason Derulo joins Tom Hooper’s Cats musical adaptation
Following the recent casting of Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) as Jennyanydots, The Hollywood Reporter brings word that singer-songwriter Jason Derulo has signed on to join the ensemble cast of Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. This will mark Derulo’s first acting debut in a feature film. He is set to portray the character of a rebellious feline named Rum Tum Tugger.
Derulo is best known for his hits songs such “Whatcha Say”, “Talk Dirty”, and “Ridin Solo” which all earned him platinum records. He has also appeared as a guest star in some TV shows like Empire and Lethal Weapon.
Jennifer Hudson is headlining the cast of Cats as Grizabella, the former Glamour Cat, along with Idris Elba as the villainous Macavity, Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat, and Dame Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy. It also includes Taylor Swift, James Corden, Laurie Davidson, Mette Towley and Royal Ballet dancers Steven McRae as Skimbleshanks and Francesca Hayward as Victoria.
Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables) is set to direct the film from a script by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot). Executive producers include three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg, Lloyd Webber, and Angela Morrison.
First performed in 1981, Cats is the fourth longest-running show in Broadway as well as West End history, with a direct-to-video version of the production released in 1998. 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 favorite 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.
Working Title Films, who previously worked with Hooper on the hit 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables, will produce the Cats movie in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Use Group alongside Lloyd Webber and Deba Hayward.
The film is scheduled to hit the theaters on December 20, 2019. Production on the feature adaptation will reportedly begin at the end of this year in the UK.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)