File this news under “sure, why the hell not.” Variety reports that Idris Elba is about to join the cast of Tom Hooper‘s Cats. The Thor: Ragnarok star joins Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and Ian McKennel in the adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s musical about a theater full of audience members’ who inexplicably like it when the performers come off the stage and get all up in your face and shit.
Okay, that’s not exactly what Cats is about. Cats is about…cats, a whole bunch of them, who gather in an alleyway to perform a yearly ritual called the Jellicle Ball. People love this musical, man. The 1983 Broadway production won seven Tony Awards and went on to hold the record as the Great White Way’s longest-running show until Phantom of the Opera surpassed it in 2006. No word on which role Elba is eyeing, but I personally can confirm that no matter which cat the actor plays it will stir up a number of confusing sexual feelings in a lot of people.
Hooper’s adaptation of the musical has had a long road to pre-production. The director first teased his take on Cats in 2016, four years after his successful big-screen Les Miserables. The project then mostly lay dormant until this year, when it was announced Swift and McKellen were coming on board.
Cats—which is executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, Lloyd Webber, and Angela Morrison—hits theaters on December 20, 2019. Here’s the official synopsis, in case you’re unfamiliar:
Based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show is set amongst a larger- than-life junkyard playground and is alive with our favourite feline characters including Rum Tum Tugger, Mr. Mistoffelees, Macavity, Jennyanydots, Old Deuteronomy, Grizabella and Skimbleshanks.
The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year – the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.