The leads for the new Mary Poppins film, Mary Poppins Returns, have been announced! The movie has also been given a release date – December 2018. The movie will star Emily Blunt and Lin Manual Miranda. Blunt is playing the titular role, while Lin Manual Miranda will be portraying a street lamplighter named Jack. Miranda is still on a high from his rave success in the musical Hamilton, which he created and starred in. The musical was nominated for 16 Tony awards. He’ll also be seen in Speech and Debate, now in post-production.
Rob Marshall, who directed Into the Woods and Chicago will be directing the film. The screenplay will be written by David Magee, who penned Finding Neverland and Life of Pi. And yes, it will be a musical! Marc Shaiman is set to compose an all-new score writing original songs alongside Scott Wittman.
“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 about the film. “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.”
Mary Poppins Returns is based on the magical world of P.L. Travers seven Mary Poppins novels. The story involves a grown up Jane and Michael Banks. Although Travers never wrote about the adult children, she did have them go on many whimsical adventures, many of which never made it to film in the first Mary Poppins, released in 1964. The story takes place in Depression-Era London, the same time period for the books, published in 1934. The film’s summary says “A personal loss prompts a visit by Mary Poppins and she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.” The new movie is reportedly based on elements of all seven books, but of course, takes its own turn as well. It will be set 20 years after the original film.
As shown in the film Saving Mr. Banks, P.L. Travers was very hesitant about letting Walt Disney adapt her books into a film, but relented. The first four books served as the basis of the film, and the film went on to receive rave reviews, and a total of 13 Oscar nominations.
Emily Blunt will next be seen in the adaptation of the bestselling novel Girl on the Train, and can currently be seen in the The Huntsman: Winter’s War, now in theaters. Lin Manuel Miranda is, of course, on Broadway in Hamilton, which receives rave reviews and whose tickets go for thousands of dollars right now. He’s also writing songs for the Walt Disney animated movie, Moana – scheduled for release this November.
Mary Poppins Returns will likely make a big splash at the box office when it comes out. Production should be underway soon, and this movie is already being hotly-debated in comment threads. Some say that it shouldn’t be done while others are excited. Emily Blunt debuted her singing chops in the musical Into the Woods, so it’s interesting to think of her singing the new music for the film.