Idris Elba is in final talks to join Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Cats. We hear Elba is playing famed feline Macavity. The Golden Globe and two-time SAG Award winner will join a cast that already includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, James Corden, Laurie Davidson and Mette Towley. The pic is currently in pre-production.
Macavity is the only real villain in the musical who kidnaps Old Deuteronomy, the Jellicle leader, and attempts to abduct Demeter, one of two cats who sings about him. The character was originally portrayed by Richard Pettyfer in the original West End production, and by Kenneth Ard in the Broadway production. Macavity also has a hypnotic power. In Act II, there are two songs about him: “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” sung by Demeter, Bombalurina, and female feline back-up; and “Macavity Fight” performed by Macavity, Demeter, Munkustrap and Alonzo.
Elba is currently filming the Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham and can next be seen starring this spring in the Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie, which he also co-created and executive produced. He can also be seen in 2019 starring in Season 5 of the hit BBC series Luther, which he also executive produces.
Oscar-winner Hooper adapted the Cats script with Lee Hall. Hooper is also producing with Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner as well as fellow Les Misérables producer Debra Hayward, who first brought the idea to Working Title. Monumental Pictures and The Really Useful Group are also producing, and Steven Spielberg, Lloyd Webber and Angela Morrison are executive producers.
Elba is repped by WME, The Artists Partnership and Ziffren Brittenham.
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