Dame Judi Dench has signed up to star in the film adaptation of Cats – in a role traditionally played by a man.
The Oscar-winning actress, 83, will play the ancient cat Deuteronomy in Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, entertainment website Deadline reports.
The cast of the film, due out next year, also includes Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Sir Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden.
The first performance of the hit musical, based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, was in 1981.
Dame Judi was set to play Grizabella in the original West End production, but had to withdraw from the show after snapping her Achilles tendon.