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Tom Hooper to direct big screen version of Cats

Story by Jack Foley

TOM Hooper, the Oscar-winning director of The King’s Speech and Les Miserables, is to direct a big-screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats.

According to Variety, the British filmmaker will team up with studio Universal and production company Working Title on the new film.

As yet, no casting has been announced but there is widespread speculation that model and actor Suki Waterhouse could be in contention for a major role.

Based on TS Eliot’s 1939 poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the stage version of Cats is the fourth-longest-running musical in the West End and on Broadway.

It tells the story of a tribe of felines known as the Jellicles and the night when much-loved patriarch Old Deuteronomy decides which cat will ascend to the Heaviside layer and come back to a new life.

The show made its West End debut in 1981, with Trevor Nunn directing and Gillian Lynne providing choreography. A Broadway run followed in 1982.

Hooper is no stranger to bringing musicals to the big screen. He version of Les Misérables attracted strong reviews and took $440 million world-wide, as well as winning an Oscar for Anne Hathaway as best supporting actress. The cast also included Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried.

Hooper’s most recent film, The Danish Girl, reunited him with Redmayne and landed an Oscar for leading lady Alicia Vikander.

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