Almost forty years after she was set to play a key role in the original West End production, Dame Judi Dench is now set for a different part in the new film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats” at Universal Pictures and Working Title.
Dench was set to play Grizabella in the original West End production in 1981, but she snapped her Achilles tendon shortly before previews began and had to withdraw. Grizabella sings the musical’s most famous song “Memory”.
In the film, Dench is expected to portray the respected feline Old Deuteronomy, the first time the character has been represented as female. Dench joins a cast that includes Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, James Corden, and Taylor Swift.
Tom Hooper will direct the film from a script he co-wrote with Lee Hall.