A new version of the long-running stage musical Cats has entered the betting for the 2020 Academy Awards, with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power rating the movie as an 11/1 shot to win Best Picture. 

The musical, which was based on poet TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, dates back to 1981, and there have been numerous stage versions. Universal Studios bought the film adaptation rights many years ago and there have been regular rumours about an animated or live-action version, but those rumours became fact last year when Tom Hooper, who directed the successful film adaptation of Les Miserables in 2012, was announced as director. 

Hooper has assembled a top-level cast for the project. Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen have already signed up for the movie, and there are also roles for Royal Ballet Principal Dancers Francesca Hayward and Steven McCrae, along with James Corden, Rebel Wilson and Jason Derulo, while Steven Spielberg will be the executive producer. While initial speculation suggested that Cats would be an animation, Hooper later revealed that it would be a live-action movie, with technology used to enable the actors to take on the feline roles. 

Due to be released in December, Cats will be a late entry in the Oscars race, but it will face some tough competition this year with a number of Hollywood legends releasing cherished projects. Top of the list so far is The Irishman (3/1), Martin Scorcese’s gangster movie that has been ten years in the making and starts Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Other leading contenders include The Laundromat (4/1) starring Meryl Streep; Tom Hanks’ A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (9/1) and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (7/1).  

Published by Andie Hughes

Based in England, Andie Hughes is a freelance betting writer with over a decade of experience in the industry. Andie has written for ESPN, Betfair, Sporting Life, and Boylesports, and can be contacted at andiehughes73@gmail.com.

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