Royal Ballet principal dancer Steven McRae is set to star as Skimbleshanks in the upcoming film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats, according to Deadline. He joins previously announced fellow Royal Ballet principal Francesca Haward, who will play the white kitten Victoria (and will also reportedly sing a new song), as well as Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Ian McKellen, Laurie Davidson, and Mette Towley.
Also known as the railway cat, Skimbleshanks is an older ginger tabby who works the mail trains travelling at nighttime. McRae is an Australian dancer who has been with the Royal Ballet since 2004 and a principal since 2009. His role creations include Magician/Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Jack in Sweet Violet, and Florizel in The Winter’s Tale. Earlier this fall he was seen in the Royal Ballet's production of Mayerling.
Rehearsals for the film adaptation of Cats, helmed by Les Misérables director Tom Hooper, are currently underway. The movie is set to debut in theatres December 20, 2019.