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The Royal Ballet's Francesca Hayward Is Feline Purrfection in the New "CATS" Trailer

Courtesy Universal Pictures

What do you get when you add Royal Ballet principal Francesca Hayward, Taylor Swift, Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, CGI fur technology, giant sets and unitards galore? The answer is the new CATS film, scheduled for major release December 20, 2019.


The official trailer has just dropped, and it's even bigger, furrier and more dance-filled than we ever could have imagined. Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1981 musical is based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and tells the strange tale of the Jellicles, a tribe of cats tasked with deciding which of them will ascend to Heaviside Layer (roughly translated as cat heaven) and return to a new life. It was restaged for film in 1998. This new remake, directed by Tom Hooper of Les Misérables fame, is overflowing with Hollywood stars. In addition to Swift, the cast includes James Corden, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Jennifer Hudson, who sings "Memory," the show's best-known song.

But of course, we're most excited for the dancing. Hayward makes her feature film debut as the white cat Victoria, and if this trailer is any indication, we'll get to see plenty of her leggy brilliance (check out 0:36 and 0:48 for a sneak peek). The film also features former NYCB principal Robbie Fairchild as Munkustrap, Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae and former soloist Eric Underwood, hip hop duo Les Twins and CATS on Broadway veteran Kolton Krouse.

Check out the trailer below meow! (Sorry we couldn't help ourselves.)

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