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Idris Elba to Join Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift in Universal’s ‘Cats’ Adaptation

Ian McKellen, Laurie Davidson, and Mette Towley also star

Idris Elba is in final talks to join Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift and James Corden in Universal’s adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical “Cats,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Ian McKellen, Laurie Davidson, and Mette Towley also star. Elba is set to play the villain Macavity. The film adaptation will be based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot.

Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) will direct, and Hooper adapted the story for the screen alongside Lee Hall (“Billy Elliott”).  Hooper and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing, as well as Debra Hayward. “Cats” will be produced by Working Title Films in associated with Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group. Steven Spielberg, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Angela Morrison are executive producing.

“Cats” has been one of the longest-running musicals in West End and Broadway history since its premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981. It was the winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical, and in 1983, it received seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Elba is currently shooting “Hobbs & Shaw” alongside Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, and will next be seen in the Netflix comedy series “Turn Up Charlie,” which he also co-created and executive produced. He will also star in the fifth season of the BBC series “Luther.”

Elba is presented by WME, The Artists Partnership and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.