By Maureen Lee Lenker
October 16, 2018 at 08:14 PM EDT

Idris Elba is about to be the cat’s meow (as if he wasn’t already).

EW has confirmed that the Star Trek: Beyond and Beasts of No Nation star is in final negotiations to join the cast of Cats, Universal Pictures and Working Title’s adaptation of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. He’s poised to portray Macavity, a master criminal.

The already stacked ensemble includes Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, and Taylor Swift. Tom Hooper, who previously helmed a big-screen adaptation of the beloved musical Les Miserables, is on board to direct, and shooting is expected to begin later this year in London.

Cats is based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, a collection of fanciful feline poems, and follows a tribe of cats known as the Jellicles on a night where they debate which one of them will return to a new life on the Heaviside Layer. Macavity is the villain of the piece, wrecking havoc on the other cats as they try to determine who will be the chosen one.

The musical first opened on Broadway in 1983 and ran for 18 years, making it the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history. The score contains several musical theater standards, including “Memory” and “Jellicle Cats.”

Cats is slated to hit theaters in December 2019.


Related Links:

Cats (2019 movie)

Tom Hooper directs a star-studded adaptation of the long-running Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

  • Movie
  • Tom Hooper