As a project that’s been in development since the 1990s, a film adaptation of the iconic musical CATS is something that many Broadway fans have been dreaming of for a long time. Now, the first official trailer reveals a star-studded cast, a fresh face as the adaptation’s lead starlet and a look at just how they made this magical movie come to fruition.



The project found a home at Universal Pictures after the studio purchased the film rights years ago, but it wasn’t until 2016 that things became official when filmmaker Tom Hooper officially signed on in May of that year. The film’s plot centers on a tribe of cats called the Jellicles that in a single night make what is known as “the Jellicle choice” and decide which cat will ascend to “Heaviside Layer” — that’s cat heaven in case you were wondering. It’s very similar to the hit musical that inspired it all, as well as T.S. Eliot’s original Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats from 1939. Main cast members include Idris Elba and Judi Dench starring alongside Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo and Jennifer Hudson, the latter who can be heard in the trailer featured here. The lead star is actually someone that you might not be familiar with: Kenyan-born British ballerina Francesca Hayward, who makes her feature film debut with this groundbreaking role.

‘CATS’ premieres in theaters starting December 20 to make for the perfect holiday movie season experience. Watch the trailer and a behind the scenes look at the film from the cast itself above.