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Les Miserables director Tom Hooper to bring Cats to the big screen

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Tom Hooper is on the prowl with another stage-to-screen adaptation. The Les Misérables filmmaker is attached to direct and produce a movie based on the popular musical Cats for Universal Pictures and Working Title, EW has confirmed.

Hooper will produce alongside Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, and Debra Hayward.

Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and first performed in 1981, Cats is one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history and will be back on stage in New York this summer. Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a volume of whimsical poems, it centers on a tribe of cats who congregate for an annual event in which one feline is chosen to ascend to heaven and be reborn.

Webber’s score features such musical theater standards as “Memory” and the show’s opening number, “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats.”

Hooper, who won a directing Oscar for The King’s Speech and most recently helmed The Danish Girl, has been linked to a potential Cats movie for several months — first by The Sun, and more recently by The Daily Mail. The project is still in the early stages, and there is no word yet on a screenwriter, casting, or how the filmmakers will tackle the project in terms of live-action, CGI, or a hybrid approach.

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