This time last month, we were wigging out when news broke that Wayne McGregor had been named choreographer for the upcoming CATS movie. Sure, it made us scratch our heads, since the original dances by the late Gillian Lynne are as iconic as the Jellicle cats themselves. (There was even a stir when Andy Blankenbuehler was chosen to choreograph the 2016 Broadway revival based on Lynne's original moves.) But we definitely want to see what the abstract mind of McGregor can bring to this reboot.
But our biggest question is, Who will be stepping into the catsuits?
Aside from an incredible ensemble of dancers (casting wraps up the week of July 23), Jennifer Hudson—the diva with the pipes to prove it—has been cast as Grizabella. Excuse us while we freak out!!! Who better than Hudson to pull off the glamour cat's showstopping song "Memory"? And based on her starring role in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple, we know she's got the acting chops to pull off Grizabella's vulnerable demeanor, her mix of sadness and beauty.
According to The Daily Mail, three more stars are also in talks to join the cast: Taylor Swift, James Corden and Sir Ian McKellen. Might Swift, a well-known lover of cats herself, lend her sweetness, her tinge of nerdiness and her off-beat spunk to Jennyanydots?
As far as we're concerned, Corden can be cast as any character. We just want to see him in a catsuit again. (He already donned one in June for his Crosswalk the Musical: Andrew Lloyd Webber Classics on "The Late Late Show," so that bodes well for his involvement in the movie.) Can you imagine him as a tongue-in-cheek Mr. Mistoffelees swinging around a soundstage? Or a flirtatious Corden in skintight leather as the edgy Rum Tug Tugger?
Revered actor McKellen, currently 79, would be a perfect fit for Gus, the aged theater cat renowned for his stage career. Similarly, McKellen has amassed a laundry list of accolades, including Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, and many, many more. He's done it all, from acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company to playing Gandalf in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies.
We can't wait to get our paws on more info about CATS, but we love how in many ways this version is shaping up to be a distinct departure from the original—instead of a half-hearted copycat.