Frankly speaking, it’s still a little odd to be writing about a sequel to Mary Poppins. It’s not something I thought would ever happen, but lo and behold…Mary Poppins Returns already started filming. Today Disney brings the announcement for the start of production, giving us some more insight into the sequel’s story as well as the impressive cast they’ve assembled.
“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).
Sounds like a similar plot concept to the original film, perhaps making this more along the lines of a reboot rather than a straight up sequel. Either way they’ve assembeld one Hell of a cast to bring the story to life:
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 slated to hit theaters on December 25, 2018.