First look: Judi Dench lands dream Cats role after injury cost her part in stage hit

English actress Judi Dench is set to play the gender-swapped Old Deuteronomy in the film. Source: Facebook - Universal Pictures Australia

It’s one of the most eagerly-anticipated movies in years boasting an incredible line-up of talent and now the first behind-the-scenes teaser for the new Cats film has been released.

The short three-minute video gives fans an exclusive first look at the live-action adaption of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history.

The upcoming fantasy film, which is based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make ‘the Jellicle Choice’ and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

While the footage doesn’t show any of the film’s star-studded cast in their cat getups, it does show Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, James Corden and many others exploring the giant-sized sets and talking about the beloved production.

For english actress Dench, who is set to play the gender-swapped Old Deuteronomy, the film marks an important milestone in her successful career, having been cast in the stage production almost four decades ago.

“I was cast in 1981 [for the stage production],” the 84-year-old revealed. “Just before we opened, I snapped my Achilles tendon. I thought that was my history with Cats, but it turns out not to be.”

Meanwhile, Elba, who plays master criminal Macavity in the film, says the scale of this production is huge, adding: “Three or four times bigger, for the cat perspective.”

We also hear from The Late Late Show comedian Corden who adds: “These are people, but they’re cats, and this is kind of blowing my mind. There is nothing else like it.”

Meanwhile, Australian-British film director Tom Hooper reveals how he transformed his cast into real-life cats, adding: “We’ve used digital fur technology to create the most perfect covering of fur”.

Fans loved the short video, with one commenting online: “It is looking amazing. I think they’re going to do such a good job!!”

Another added: “All my favourite voices plus Judi Dench and Rebel Wilson.”

A third wrote: “I didn’t even know they were making this! Looks amazing.”

While another commented: “I saw Ian McKellen laughing with Judi Dench. Shut up and take my money.”

The full trailer for Cats drops this Friday.

Will you be watching this film? Are you a fan of Cats the musical?

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