Get ready to have the Cats soundtrack stuck in your head. The beloved Broadway musical is being made into a live-action film directed by Tom Hooper, the Academy Award winner who also brought the musical Les Misérables to the big screen. The best part? Hooper has chosen a jaw-dropping all-star cast to breathe new life into the story of the Jellicles and the unforgettable compositions by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
In July 2018 news broke that Hooper had cast Taylor Swift in the project. She'll be playing the role of sassy queen cat Bombalurina, alongside Jennifer Hudson's Grizabella and Judi Dench's Old Deuteronomy—and those are just three of the major celebrities involved in the production.
The movie's first trailer drops on Friday, July 19, and ahead of that we received an interesting behind-the-scenes video featuring the entire cast. Watch it, below:
Here's everything we know about the movie so far:
The trailer is here. It includes all the key players in the movie, and people have thoughts. Check it out for yourself, below. Then peep the reactions.
A second trailer dropped on November 19:
The cast is incredible. This movie has some serious star power. In fact, in the behind-the-scenes video, Hooper compared directing the cast to directing a group of "world-class athletes." We already have goose bumps imagining Hudson's rendition of "Memory" (she gave people a snippet of her take in Texas recently), but the film also includes other A-listers. In addition to Hudson, Swift, and Dench, it stars James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots, Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger, Idris Elba as Macavity, and Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat.
It's a high-tech production. People have already been wondering how Hooper is going to handle the iconic cat costumes from the Broadway musical. The behind-the-scenes video reveals that he's going with a combination of costumes and digital technology that will create what he calls "the most perfect covering of fur."
"These are people, but they're cats, and it's kind of blowing my mind," Corden says in the video. "There is nothing else like it."
Hooper also included some forces of nature from the dance world. Francesca Hayward, the principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, will play Victoria the White Cat. Larry and Laurent Bourgeois, the French hip-hop sensations known as Les Twins, will take on the roles of the cats Plato and Socrates.
Swift helped pen original music for it. In October, the singer revealed that she and Andrew Lloyd Webber had written an original track, titled "Beautiful Ghosts," for the film. The haunting track was penned for Hayward's character, but Swift will sing a version that plays over the film's end credits. Swift revealed in a behind-the-scenes clip that she tried to channel T.S. Eliot's voice for the lyrics.
"You can't write a modern lyric for Cats," she said, adding jokingly, "If you can't get T.S. Eliot, get T.S."
In the January 2020 issue of British Vogue, Swift spoke about the process of writing the song's lyrics, saying it happened almost instantly after she heard Webber's melody.
“I think [writing] is really important—also from the side of ownership over what you do and make,” she said. “Even if you aren’t a natural writer, you should try to involve yourself in the messages you’re sending.”
The pop star also seemingly addressed criticisms the film has been receiving, saying she wouldn't trade the experience for the world: "I really had an amazing time with Cats. I think I loved the weirdness of it. I loved how I felt I’d never get another opportunity to be like this in my life.”
The film will be out just in time for the holidays. Universal Pictures has scheduled the release date for December 20, 2019.
Originally Appeared on Glamour