20th Century Fox



Dame Judi Dench is turning feline.

The Oscar-winning actress is joining the cast of the movie version of "Cats" as a gender-swapped Deuteronomy, according to Deadline. 

In Andrew Lloyd Webber's original stage musical, Deuteronomy was a large male cat who led the Jellicles. He'd "lived many lives" and "buried nine wives (and more, I am tempted to say – ninety-nine).”

Now, the character will be a female cat and Deadline reports the "wives" line will be altered for the movie.

Interestingly, Dench was set to play Grizabella in the original West End production in 1981, but she snapped her Achilles’ tendon just before previews and had to withdraw from the show.

Tom Hooper ("Les Misérables") is directing the adaptation, which also stars Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Idris Elba as Macavity, as well as Taylor Swift, Ian McKellen, and James Corden.

"Cats" the movie is slated for release December 20, 2019.