If the news about the upcoming CATS movie has your head spinning, we're right there with you. It seems like every week we have a bit more to share about the new film adaptation, which is set to release in December 2019. So, in order to keep it all straight, we present you with our master list of everything we know—our version of "The Naming of Cats," if you will. We'll add updates as they emerge.
Andy Blankenbuehler stepped in to choreograph for the movie after Wayne McGregor left the project. Photo by Jeremy Daniels, Courtesy Blankenbuehler
Though Wayne McGregor was initially tapped to choreograph and held auditions this summer to fill dancer roles, it was announced in late November that he needed to step away from the film due to scheduling conflicts with The Royal Ballet. Broadway maestro Andy Blankenbuehler was called in to save the day—the obvious choice, given that he choreographed the 2016 Broadway revival.
The cast is overflowing with Hollywood A-listers.
Idris Elba is set to play Macavity. Image via Wikimedia Commons
We learned in July that Jennifer Hudson, Sir Ian McKellan, Taylor Swift and James Corden would all be stepping into catsuits. The cast list has since expanded to include Idris Elba, Dame Judi Dench, Jason Derulo and Rebel Wilson—and we're sure there's more to come.
Royal Ballet dancers join the cast
Francesca Hayward, here in Manon, is reportedly playing Victoria. Photo by Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH
The Royal Ballet announced in early November that both Francesca Hayward and Steven McRae would be taking leaves of absence to appear in the CATS film. They're reportedly playing Victoria and Skimbleshanks, respectively. The company later confirmed a rumor that soloist Olivia Grace Cowley will also be appearing in the film.
Robert Fairchild to play Munkustrap
Robert Fairchild is the most recent top-notch dancer to join the cast. Photo by Jayme Thornton
Speaking of "The Naming of Cats," Variety is reporting that former New York City Ballet principal dancer and Tony nominee Robert Fairchild has been cast as Munkustrap. Given his Broadway bona fides, excellent dancing chops and inimitable charm, we aren't at all surprised—who better to lead us through the opening number that introduces us to the world of CATS?
Les Twins and Eric Underwood join cast as filming gets underway
According to Deadline, former Royal Ballet soloist Eric Underwood and "World of Dance" alums Les Twins (Larry and Laurent Bourgeois) are among the starry dance talent working on the film, which just began principal photography. The site also confirmed Francesca Hayward's casting as Victoria.