Francesca Hayward, the Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, has boarded Universal Pictures/Working Title’s Cats based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit musical.

We hear she will play a new pivotal role in the feature film version of the musical, a white kitten named Victoria, which was not in the original production. Word is also that Lloyd Webber has written a new song for Victoria.

Hayward attended The Royal Ballet School and joined The Royal Ballet in 2010 and was promoted to Principal in 2016. Some of her most prominent roles include Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Alice (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), Manon, Lise (La Fille mal gardée), the female Principal role in Rhapsody, Titania (The Dream), Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara (The Nutcracker) and Princess Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty).  Francesca represented The Royal Ballet at the 2012 International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize and won Best Emerging Artist (2014) and Grishko Award For Best Female Dancer (2016) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards.

To date the Cats cast includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Ian McKellan, Idris Elba (Macavity), Judi Dench (Deuteronomy) Laurie Davidson and Mette Towley. The cast is currently rehearsing at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, UK making their way toward a Dec. 20, 2019 theatrical release.

Hopper directed and adapted Cats with Lee Hall for the screen. Hooper is producing with Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, as well as fellow Les Misérables producer Debra Hayward-who brought the idea to Working Title. Steven Spielberg, Lloyd Webber and Angela Morrison are EPs.

Hayward is represented by Helen Clarkson at Curtis Brown and Lucy Popkin at Peikoff Mahan Law Office.