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The star count for the movie version of Cats just keeps rising: first Sir Ian McKellen and James Corden sign on the dotted line, and now it looks like Idris Elba is warming up in the wings to join them.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Luther star is in talks to play Macavity, the master criminal cat known as the “Napoleon of crime” in the famous musical. The character originally featured in T.S. Eliot‘s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the collection of poems on which the musical is based, and was modeled partly on Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis and evil mastermind Moriarty.

It’s the latest in a string of distinctly dastardly roles for Idris, from Shere Khan (his last feline role) in Disney’s 2016 CGI and live-action version of The Jungle Book to the baddie in Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw. Clearly he enjoys playing the villain, and this latest role is one he could really sink his claws into.

Idris will have to make a final decision soon, as filming is set to start next month. Joining him on set will be an unbelievable cast, including Sir Ian, who’s playing Gus the Theatre Cat, Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, and dancer Mette Towley as Jemima. Plus James Corden, Taylor Swift, and Laurie Davidson (Will) have been cast in as yet undisclosed roles.

Cats is due to open in theaters on December 20, 2019. Any fans concerned that the cinematic version may not live up to the musical needn’t worry. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is involved, as well as director Tom Hooper, who turned epic musical Les Misérables into a star-studded film in 2012, as well making The Danish Girl (2015) and The King’s Speech (2010).

Can you imagine Idris as Macavity?

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Filed Under: cats, Idris Elba
By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.