We’re just a month away from the highly-anticipated film adaptation of Cats hitting theaters on Dec. 20, with an all-star cast including Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Jason Derulo and Steven McRae.
The story, based on T.S. Eliot’s book of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, follows a feline group called Jellicle Cats on a night known as “the Jellicle choice,” during which their leader Old Deuteronomy chooses one cat to be reborn and return to a new life.
In anticipation for the film’s release, we’ve compiled a list of everything we know about Cats so far. See it below.
Who plays who?
The film features a number of musicians-turned-actors, and they play some really fun characters. Hudson will take on the role of Grizabella, who used to be a “glamour cat” but she is now shunned by the Jellicles. Swift is the flirty Bombalurina, who shoots her shot at an assortment of male cats throughout the story. Derulo plays Rum Rum Tugger, a young mischievious kitten who gets into some rebellious shenanigans.
The play’s composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, returns alongside director Tom Hooper. involvement was later confirmed in May 2016. The film adaptation marks Hooper’s second movie musical, following 2012’s Les Miserables. Three-time Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler is the film’s choreographer, previously serving as the choreographer for the musical’s stage revival.
The actors went to “Cat School”
To portay accurate human-feline blends, the stars of Cats went to an animal behavior class to learn how to move and act like the furry creatures. “Basically, I’d go in every day and crawl around on the floor and learn about cats and watch videos of cats and so basically my normal day,” Swift said on The Graham Norton Show. “You study their bodies, you study their instincts.”
Sure, the film will feature some of the best known songs from the stage, including “Memory,” but it also includes some originals–well, one we know of so far. Swift teamed up with Webber to release the haunting “Beautiful Ghosts,” which will be sung by Victoria the White Cat in the movie, but Swift’s studio recording will play over the credits, according to Playbill.
“‘Beautiful Ghosts’ is sung from a young voice who is wondering if she will ever have glory days,” Swift said of the song. “Longing for the sense of belonging she sees everyone else finding. Reaching for it, desperately afraid of never having beautiful ghosts of days gone by to cling to in her older years. No matter what happens, I can safely say the memories from my experience working on Cats will be ones I carry with me. Beautiful ghosts, if you will.”