The Oscar-winning actress will reportedly play ancient cat Deuteronomy – a role traditionally played by a man – in the film, which is due for release next year.

Image: Singer and cat fan Taylor Swift will also star in the film

Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Sir Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson and James Corden have also signed up for Tom Hooper‘s adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

Cats, based on TS Eliot‘s Old Possum‘s Book Of Practical Cats, is one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, premiering at the New London Theatre in 1981.

Dame Judi, 83, was set to play Grizabella in the original West End production, but had to withdraw from the show after snapping her Achilles tendon.

It played at that London venue, now known as the Gillian Lynne Theatre, for 21 years and almost 9,000 performances.

The musical score, composed by Lloyd Webber, includes the song Memory, which has been recorded by more than 150 artists including Barbra Streisand and Barry Manilow.