Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench has come on board for Tom Hooper's film adaptation of the musical CATS in the role of Deuteronomy, the ancient cat who presides over the singing felines' Jellicle Ball.
The casting is interesting as the role has traditionally been played onstage by a man, according to hollywoodreporter.com.
Dench is no stranger to musical theater. She was set to play Grizabella, the cat who sings "Memory" in the original 1981 London production of Andrew Lloyd Weber's CATS but had to withdraw due to an injury. She played Desiree in a 1995 London production of "A Little Night Music", and featured in Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns".
The cast of the CATS movie also includes Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and Ian McKellen. It will release on December 20, 2019.