Even though he’s got an Oscar on his shelf for directing “The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper remains a fairly divisive director among cinephiles, but not because he’s provocative. It’s mostly because his pictures tend to be the opposite — warm, safe, bland, and formulaic, at least according to some. Those qualities were certainly on view in last year’s sumptuously dull “The Danish Girl,” but before that came “Les Miserables,” the movie version of the hit musical, which saw Hooper playing on a bigger canvas, to mixed results. And it looks like he’s itching to bring another stage show to the big screen.

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Hooper has now started research and development on a movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s “Cats.” It’s all very, very early, and right now, the director is trying to figure out the best visual approach to the story about the tribe of cats know as the Jellicles.

“Do you somehow use actors, sophisticated puppets, CGI — or what? That’s the point of the exercise. We hope to be able to answer all of those questions, following a long period of research,” an executive told Baz Bamigboye about the brewing project.

While “Cats” might seem like a random choice, the timing is pretty spot on. “Cats” is returning to Broadway in August, which should put the show back in the pop culture conversation, but the movie is still a fair bit of a way off. There’s no screenwriter or cast members yet, and if Hooper does decide to make the film, production isn’t likely to start until late 2017 or 2018.

Thoughts? Is a movie version of “Cats” a silly idea, or something you’d want to see? Let us know in the comments section.