Universal Pictures has shared a behind-the-scenes look for the highly-anticipated film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, starring Taylor Swift.
The clip shows the cast, which includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson, Francesca Hayward, Judi Dench and Idris Elba, along with director Tom Hooper, during dance rehearsals as they prep for the film.
“My first memories of performance go back to when I was in Pennsylvania growing up,” Swift reflects in the clip. “My favourite thing was getting to be theatrical, to tell a story and I’ve always brought that sort of narrative element to my live shows.”
Among the cast, Dench reveals that she was originally cast as Grizabella in the 1981 production before having to pull out due to a torn Achilles tendon. “I thought that was my history with Cats, but it turns out not to be,” she says.
Hudson, who’s no stranger to musical adaptations having won an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls, knew what was required of the role.
“Instantly, I felt the pressure,” Hudson says, after she learned of her casting in the film.
Another stage-turned-screen veteran, James Corden speaks highly the film’s director Tom Hooper, who he credits with capturing the magic of the stage show on screen.
“I really only think it could be done by a director like Tom Hooper,” says Corden. “He understands the spectacle of Cats.” Hooper then goes on to talk about the message behind the show: “At the centre of this incredibly entertaining, comedic, fantastical musical is a very timely story about the importance of inclusion and redemption.”
“Directing Cats is like directing a group of world class athletes,” Hopper says of his all-star cast.”
As Hudson says, “this film is an event”. The first look also reveals a spectacular stage set and all of the hours the cast spent nailing the choreography and songs.
The official Cats trailer is set to arrive this Friday, on 19 July, while the film will head to theatres this Christmas.