Tom Hooper to Direct ‘Cats’ Movie for Universal

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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