Hollywood is currently making a film about a large group of cats, and I wish deep down in my soul it was about Bella Thorne’s 19 cats, but it’s not. Of course we’re talking about the upcoming film adaptation of the musical Cats, which has added another member to the cast. Idris Elba will most likely play Macavity (has anyone made a “I’d let him bust one up in ma’cavity” joke yet?). Although it was also reported he could be playing Old Deuteronomy. That’s not going to happen, because Deadline says the part is going to Dame Judi Dench.
The character’s name is legitimately Old Deuteronomy, and he’s the wise, ancient leader of the cats. It was rumored that Sir Ian McKellen would play Old Deuteronomy, which would make sense, because he’s also on the older side and because Deuteronomy is a man cat. But in the film adaptation, they’re gender-flipping the character and making him a lady cat. Who Sir Ian is playing now is anyone’s guess.
Dame Judi has sort of had previous experience with Cats. In 1981 she was cast as Grizabella in the original West End production, but she busted her Achilles’ tendon before previews and had to pull out. I just hope that Dame Judi didn’t come with too many conditions this time around. Like that they come up with something for her poor, out of work friend Kevin Spacey. “I’m sorry Dame Judi, but we can’t write you in a creepy weasel sidekick.”