The king of 1980s musical theater has inspired hope and terror in musical theater fans by implying that his long running all-singing all-dancing celebration of the feline form—Cats—may become a movie.
During an interview with the Daily Mail, which came to us via Playbill, Andrew Lloyd Webber said Universal is considering a Cats film: "I haven’t seen the [Les Mis] film, but it’s fantastic for musicals because everybody wants to make them again. Universal has now got Cats out of the drawer in which they locked it years ago when they bought the rights, and suddenly they’re talking about a film."
Though Cats, based on a book of T.S. Eliot poems, ran on Broadway and the West End for absurdly long stretches, one can't help but wonder what on Earth a Cats movie would look like on screen, unless it's a filmed version of the stage production or, well, animated. First off, it stars a bunch of singing felines, normally portrayed by people in skin-tight costumes with a lot of face paint. Furthermore, Cats doesn't really have much of a plot, unlike, say, Les Misérables, which is based on a Victor Hugo novel. Webber's show is more like a musical revue, which doesn't really make for great cinema. (A 1998 made-for-TV version is essentially a production of the stage play.)
That said, the temptation to see what kind of mess this could turn into is almost too great. The cast is so big that practically any musically-inclined star could be in the movie. Hugh Jackman for Rum Tum Tugger? Anne Hathaway for Bombalurina? Though we're pretty sure Meryl Streep would love to play Grizabella—the "glamour cat" who sings the showstopper "Memory"—we're intrigued by the fact that Judi Dench was cast in the role in the original production. Our Joe Reid is also on team Catherine Zeta Jones for Grizabella. Just mentioning the movie on Twitter elicited a spree of casting suggestions. (Richard Lawson tweeted: "CUMBERBATCH FOR SKIMBLESHANKS." The name "Cumberbatch" basically belongs in this thing.)
Of course, this is all preliminary, but we can dream, can't we?