The Walt Disney Company is no stranger to rebooting, remaking, and requelizing their catalog of classics, and Mary Poppins Returns looks like a combination of all three. For a while now, the idea of a sorta-sequel, sorta-reboot to the 1964 Julie Andrews-starring film, with Emily Blunt taking on the title character, was but a rumor, but the studio has now taken one small step into making it fact. Mark your calendars because Mary Poppins will be coming down from a cloud, floating surely on her umbrella and arriving back in London in time for Christmas 2018.
Disney made the official announcement in a press release, starting the two-and-a-half year countdown to the release of Marry Poppins Returns on December 25, 2018; almost 55 years after the original hit theaters. It’s a move that Disney’s seemed like it was building up to by producing Saving Mr. Banks, a dramatic telling of how Walt Disney acquired the rights to P.L. Travers‘ 1934 book and turned it into one his final classics, a few years back.
As for the specs, Blunt will take on Andrews’ iconic role as Mary Poppins, the practically perfect in every way, magical British nanny who returns to the now adult Banks children in Depression era London “following a tragedy in the family that leaves them numb and joyless.” Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind and star of Broadway smash hit Hamilton, will play new character Jack the lamplighter, who will be stepping into Dick Van Dyke‘s dancing shoes as Blunt’s co-star. Chicago director Rob Marshall has been tapped to direct.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be asked by Disney to bring P.L. Travers’ further adventures to the screen,” Marshall said in a statement. “The iconic original film means so much to me personally, and I look forward to creating an original movie musical that can bring Mary Poppins, and her message that childlike wonder can be found in even the most challenging of times, to a whole new generation.”
There were seven books in all published in Travers’ series of Poppins novels, but it looks like Returns will be an original story. David Magee (Life of Pi, Finding Neverland) is writing the script and new songs will be composed by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray remake, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical). So far, the only competition for the Christmas ’18 slot is an as-yet untitled Warner Bros. “event movie.”
All things being equal, it may be unwise to bet against Disney on this one. They’d be betting a thousand with this remakes if it weren’t for the dismal return of Alice Through the Looking Glass over the weekend, but Beauty and the Beast, which arrives next year, already looks like a hole in one for the House of Mouse. But what do you Bastards think? Interested at all in seeing a new Mary Poppins starring Emily Blunt, or is this too close to sacred cow territory? Feel free to post your comments below.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter