Universal Pictures announced today that pop icon Taylor Swift and legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber have collaborated on a new, original song written for forthcoming film Cats, based on Lloyd Webber’s beloved stage musical.
The song, ‘Beautiful Ghosts’ is performed by Francesca Hayward, who stars in the role of Victoria in the film, and later by Swift who plays Bombalurina, during the film’s end credits.
Cats is one of the most anticipated films of the holiday season and boasts an impressive cast that includes James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson and Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward.
The film, set for release on 20 December 2019, is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Tom Hooper, who also helmed the film adaptation of another Broadway classic, Les Misérables,
The studio also released an exclusive, behind-the-scenes video documenting the creation and recording of the song and including an interview with Swift, Lloyd Webber and Hooper. Earlier this year, audiences got a sneak peak at the film with a first look trailer.
While Cats is known for its signature songs like ‘Memory’, Lloyd Webber, Swift and the filmmakers seized the opportunity to create a new song for the film adaptation, especially for Victoria, whose character has been expanded for the screen.
“When I first read the screenplay, the first thing I said was, ‘We have to have a song for Victoria,’” Lloyd Webber says. ‘Beautiful Ghosts’, he says, is now, “an incredibly important and central part of the whole film”.
For director Tom Hooper, the song exceeded even his high expectations. “What I couldn’t believe was the extraordinary beauty of these lyrics that Taylor had written,” Hooper says. “It was as if someone had come into the film, I was in the middle of making and … had reflected back to me a profound understanding of what we are trying to do with the movie. It was utterly thrilling.”
As one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, audiences are very attached to the characters and songs of Cats. The new film adaptation reimagines the musical for a new generation with spectacular production design, state-of-the-art technology, and dance styles ranging from classical ballet to contemporary and hip-hop to jazz, all under the guidance of Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In the Heights).
Since opening in London in 1981, Cats has continuously appeared on stage around the globe, to date having played to 81 million people in more than 50 countries and in 19 languages. It is one of the most successful musicals of all time.
Visit the film’s official site for more details.