Emily Blunt confirmed as Mary Poppins in sequel to classic film
The British actor will be joined by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in Mary Poppins Returns, which takes place 20 years on from the famous first film
Move over, Julie Andrews. There’s a new Mary Poppins in town.
Walt Disney Studios announced on Tuesday that Into the Woods star Emily Blunt would be taking over the part of the famous nanny in a sequel to the 1964 classic film, confirming the British actor’s long-heralded involvement. She was said to be the producers’ first choice.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will also star as a new character, Jack, the street lamplighter.
The film, titled Mary Poppins Returns, will be center on a now-grown Michael Banks and his three children in the aftermath of a tragedy, and the help they get from Poppins and Jack in 1930s London.
Rob Marshall, who worked with Blunt on the film version of the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods, will direct, while the script will be written by Finding Neverland writer David Magee. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who won a Tony award for Hairspray, have been enlisted to write the songs.
When the remake was first announced last year, Marshall said that the film would not be based on the 1964 musical, which famously starred Julie Andrews. Instead, it will take its story from the seven previously unadapted books Mary Poppins’ creator PL Travers wrote about the magical nanny.
Marshall told Vulture: “This is an extension. I’m a huge fan of the original, and I’m a very good friend of Julie Andrews, and I hold it in such awe. There is all this new material – it was the Harry Potter of its time – and they were never turned into anything further than that adventure.”
Travers disliked the famous film, which took some liberties with her original book, for instance turning the character of Mrs Banks into a suffragette. Nevertheless, it grossed $100m, won five Oscars and became a children’s classic.
It did, however, become notorious for Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent as Bert, the chimney sweep, renowned as one of the worst ever committed to film. Asked about this by the Guardian recently, Van Dyke said: “There was a whole cast of British people and nobody said, ‘Y’know, you’ve got to work on that accent a bit.’ Nobody said a word.”
The new film is scheduled to hit theaters on 25 December 2018.