Long-running Broadway musical "Cats" may finally be coming to the big screen, with several reports linking Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper to the potential flick.
Hooper, who won an Oscar for "The King's Speech," and also helmed the theatrical version of musical "Les Miserables" (which also won three Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway), is reportedly attached to produce and direct a "Cats" movie. But just how far along the project is -- and how much of a certainty it is that it will actually happen -- is up for debate.
Variety indicates that the project is full steam ahead, with the trade reporting that Hooper has already agreed to work again with his "Les Mis" collaborators at Universal and Working Title. But according to a report from The Daily Mail, it seems that the project is currently in the infancy stages -- and based on what happens during the research and development process, may not move forward at all.
Columnist Baz Bamigboye spoke with an unnamed executive from the project who said filmmakers were currently trying to decide on the best visual approach to the quirky source material, and would perhaps take a cue from Disney's recent hit "The Jungle Book," which seamlessly mixed a majority of CGI shots with its live action lead.
"Do you somehow use actors, sophisticated puppets, CGI — or what?" the exec told Bamigboye of filmmakers' though process. "That's the point of the exercise. We hope to be able to answer all of those questions, following a long period of research."
That long period will stretch well into next year, and possibly beyond, with The Mail reporting that production could be on hold until late 2017 or early 2018 -- and that's the best case scenario. Fans of the musical have been waiting decades for a film version to materialize; it's unclear at this point how much longer they may have to wait.
But those itching for more "Cats" won't have to wait for long: A Broadway revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic -- which originally opened in London in 1981, and ran on the Great White Way from 1981 to 2006 -- is set for this August.
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