Judging by the talent that Disney has been collecting for Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to the classic Mary Poppins is something definitely worth looking forward to.
Following the casting of Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Ben Whishaw, and Meryl Streep, comes word that Emily Mortimer will be joining the cast as one of the Banks children. More on the story below.
Mortimer’s credits include Match Point, Lars and the Real Girl, Chaos Theory, Our Idiot Brother, Shutter Island, Hugo, and the HBO series The Newsroom.
Manuel-Miranda has gone on record to say that Mary Poppins Returns is not a reboot or a retooling, but a sequel to the original film. Given the roles the actors are playing, that makes plenty of sense. The Banks kids are now much older than they were when we first saw them. Set in the Depression-era England, the Banks children all have families of their own now. But when tragedy strikes close to home, Mary Poppins returns for a visit with her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
Here’s how he describes the film:
“It’s straight up a sequel. Michael and Jane Banks have grown up, and they find themselves in their own spot, and Mary Poppins comes back to take care of Michael’s kids. I play a lamplighter named Jack who sort of grew up apprenticing to Bert (Dick Van Dyke’s character in the 1964 film). So I know if Mary Poppins shows up, it’s gonna get awesome. I perform that function in the movie, of saying: “˜Y’all don’t know about Mary Poppins. When Mary’s around, cool sh– happens.'”
Blunt will play Poppins, with Manuel-Miranda playing Jack, a humble street lamp lighter. According to Variety, Mortimer will play Jane Banks, the sister of Michael Banks (played by Whishaw). Streep will play Poppins’ cousin Topsy.
Mary Poppins Returns is a another reunion for Blunt and Streep as they starred in The Devil Wears Prada in 2006 and once again work with their Into The Woods director Rob Marshall on this project.
As aforementioned, the film isn’t a reboot or a reimagining, but an actual sequel written by Oscar nominee David Magee who will use author P.L. Travers’ works as an inspiration for the screenplay. The sequel will also feature a new score composed by Oscar nominee and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman. He will also write original songs for the film with Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Scott Wittman.
I suppose having a reimagining of the original Mary Poppins would be hard enough since the film was a critical and commercial success. But the level of talent that is joining the sequel proves that Disney isn’t going to shortchange fans of the original and will hopefully entice newer fans to watch this and fall in love with the first film.
Disney has set Mary Poppins Returns for a December 25, 2018, release.