Tom Hooper will direct the star-studded movie, also starring Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, and Taylor Swift.
This marks Elba’s second feline role following his take on Shere Khan in 2016’s “The Jungle Book.”
The Universal Pictures epic, which hits theaters on Dec. 20, will be produced by Hooper and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, as well as fellow “Les Misérables” producer Debra Hayward — who brought the idea to Working Title. “Cats” will be produced by Working Title Films in association with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Lloyd Webber, and Angela Morrison.
“Cats,” one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history — based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” — world premiered at the New London Theatre in 1981, where it played for 21 record-breaking years. The ground-breaking production was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Theatre awards for best musical. In 1983, the Broadway production won seven Tonys, including best musical, and ran for 18 years.
Elba is currently filming “Hobbs & Shaw” with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, and can next be seen in the Netflix comedy series “Turn Up Charlie,” which he also co-created and executive produced. He returns next year to his starring role in the hit BBC series “Luther,” which he also executive produces.
He is repped by WME, The Artists Partnership, and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.