Posted on Friday, February 10th, 2017 by Ethan Anderton
Disney is continuing to dig around in their vault for new movies inspired by their old movies with Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to the 1964 live-action musical classic Mary Poppins that will have Emily Blunt stepping up to play the titular nanny instead of Julie Andrews. The film won’t arrive until Christmas Day in 2018, but production has already begun at Shepperton Studios in Shepperton, Surrey, England.
Along with Disney’s announcement of the commencement of production, the full cast has been confirmed (most of which we already knew about), and the official synopsis has been revealed as well. Check out the Mary Poppins Returns synopsis and more details after the jump.
As previously reported, Mary Poppins Returns will feature the talents of Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins. Joining her will be Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer as Michael and Jane, the two Banks children all grown up. Michael also has three children of his own who will be played by played by Pixie Davies (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Nathanael Saleh (Game of Thrones), and newcomer Joel Dawson.
The supporting cast also includes Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda as a street lamplighter named Jack, Julie Walters (Mrs. Weasley from the Harry Potter franchise) as Michael’s housekeeper Ellen, and Colin Firth as William Weatherall Wilkins, the man who runs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank where Mr. Dawes Jr. (played again by Dick Van Dyke) is chairman.
But perhaps the most delightful addition to the cast is Meryl Streep, who will be playing Mary Poppins’ eccentric cousin Topsy, who is bound to introduce the new Banks children to some whimsical fun with Mary Poppins. We know that, because it says so in the official synopsis:
Mary Poppins Returns is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers’ additional seven books. In the story, Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Julie Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Meryl Streep).
Rob Marshall, who worked with Emily Blunt on Into the Woods and also directed the Best Picture-winning Chicago, will be directing. The screenplay hails from Life of Pi scribe David Magee while Oscar nominee and Tony winner Marc Shaiman (Hairspray) working with Emmy nominee and Tony winner Scott Wittman (also of Hairspray) to write new songs, with the former also composing the original score.
For those interested, here’s the full press release from Disney featuring more details on the sequel’s crew:
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BURBANK, Calif. (February 9, 2017) – Production on “Mary Poppins Returns,” the all new sequel to Disney’s 1964 film “Mary Poppins,” has commenced at Shepperton Studios. The film, which stars Golden Globe® winner Emily Blunt (“The Girl on the Train,” “Into the Woods”) and Emmy®, GRAMMY® and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”) and is directed and produced by Oscar® nominee, Emmy® and DGA Award winner Rob Marshall (“Into the Woods,” “Chicago”), is scheduled for release December 25, 2018.
The film also stars: Ben Whishaw (“Spectre”), Emily Mortimer (“Hugo”) and Julie Walters (“Harry Potter” films) with Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”). In addition, Dick Van Dyke plays Mr. Dawes Jr., the chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, which is now run by William Weatherall Wilkins (Firth).
“Mary Poppins Returns” introduces three new Banks children, played by Pixie Davies (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”), Nathanael Saleh (“Game of Thrones”) and newcomer Joel Dawson.
The film is produced by Marshall, Emmy® winner and Golden Globe® nominee John DeLuca (“Chicago”) and Oscar® and Tony® nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Marc Platt (“La La Land”). The screenplay is by Oscar nominee David Magee (“Life of Pi”) based on The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers with Oscar nominee and Tony winner Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray”) and Emmy nominee and Tony winner Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”) writing all new songs with Shaiman composing an original score.
Amongst Marshall’s award-winning creative team are Oscar®-winning director of photography Dion Beebe, ASC ACS (“Memoirs of a Geisha”); two-time Oscar-winning production designer John Myhre (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Chicago”); three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell (“The Young Victoria,” “The Aviator,” “Shakespeare in Love”); Oscar-winning hair and make-up designer Peter Swords King (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”); Oscar-winning set decorator Gordon Sim (“Chicago”); Oscar-winning production sound mixer Simon Hayes (“Les Misérables”); and Emmy® nominated editor Wyatt Smith (“Doctor Strange,” “Into the Woods”). The film is choreographed by Marshall and DeLuca with Joey Pizzi (“Chicago”) serving as co-choreographer.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers’ additional seven books. In the story, Michael (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Streep).
PL Travers first introduced the world to the no-nonsense nanny in her 1934 book “Mary Poppins,” which Disney adapted for the screen and released in August, 1964. The film, which was directed by Robert Stevenson and starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, was the top-grossing film of that year and nominated for 13 Academy Awards®, winning five. However, the subsequent adventures of Mary Poppins remained only on the pages of PL Travers’ seven additional books, which she published between 1935 and 1988.