Tom Hooper to Direct ‘Cats’ Movie for Universal

Best Director Oscar Preview
Courtesy of Agatha A. Nitecka

Tom Hooper will direct and produce a movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cats” for Universal and Working Title.

Producers are Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title along with Debra Hayward and Hooper.

Hooper teamed with Universal and Working Title for the 2012 movie adaptation of “Les Miserables,” starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried. The film was a box office success with $440 million worldwide and critical triumph with three Academy Awards, including Hathaway for best supporting actress.

The musical “Cats” is based on T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” and centers on a tribe of cats called the Jellicles who must decide nightly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. The show was first performed in London in 1981 and ran on Broadway from 1987 to 2006.

Hooper won the best directing Oscar for “The King’s Speech” in 2010. He directed “The Danish Girl” last year for Universal and Working Title.

The Sun first reported in February that Hooper was in talks to direct a “Cats” movie and was seeking Suki Waterhouse to star.

Hooper is represented by ICM Partners and Independent Talent Group.

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  1. I just hope this movie won’t be as gritty and hyper-realistic as Les Miserables was

  2. Ed Harbur says:

    By all means! What an uncommonly brilliant way to spend several hundred million dollars – on a property with no plot, a mediocre score and another opportunity to employ CGIs at every conceivable moment. And of course, a brilliant, accomplished, gifted and legendary actress like Suki Waterhouse to head the cast. I’m on line for tickets already!

  3. Bill B. says:

    Just can’t imagine this as a live action film, but I never understood the play’s enormous success. I saw it on Broadway soooo many years ago and thought it was pretty weak stuff other than one outstanding moment for one character and one song.

  4. DM says:

    No. Just no. And the last performance on Broadway was September 10th, 2000. It did NOT run until 2006.

    This is an abstract musical that’s more a collection of pieces than an actual story. It works, but as a stage production, NOT a feature film. They filmed the last night of the London run from what I understand. Why don’t they just release that?

  5. EricJ says:

    I remember when this was in pre-development so long, it was one of the factors that helped kill off movie musicals for most of the late 80’s and all of the 90’s–
    With no narrative, and an abstract staging, they couldn’t work out which form it would take: 90’s animated? Live-action, with Travolta as Rum Tum Tugger?By the time we got Webber’s in-concert direct-video of it, that was pretty much how we could expect ANY musical to be made at that point.
    Here, seems like they’re looking to the Les Miz movie of an example of “How to clean up old unfinished-musical memos from the 90’s”, and casting the Into the Woods star for the other example.

  6. Mark says:

    Here’s hoping they find a story to write around it. Meryl Streep is being signed to star as of today, and the entire thing will be fully motion captured.

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