Wanted: A nanny for three adorable children.
And here she is.
Disney offered up a glimpse of actress Emily Blunt in costume as the legendary Mary Poppins for its upcoming sequel, “Mary Poppins Returns,” which floats into theaters on Christmas Day in 2018. (A jolly holiday, indeed!)
In the image, Blunt is seen from behind while approaching what appears to be the Banks’ home on Cherry Tree Lane. The magically inclined caregiver wears a flower-embellished hat, blue trench coat and is carrying Poppins’ iconic carpetbag.
“Mary Poppins Returns” will be directed and produced by Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) and will also star Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” and “Moana” fame as lamplighter Jack. Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Colin Firth will also appear in the film, playing Mary’s eccentric cousin Topsy and Fidelity Fiduciary Bank president William Weatherall Wilkins, respectively. (The bank was the original Mr. Banks’ workplace.)
Set in 1930s depression-era London — the setting of P.L. Travers’ original seven novels — the sequel will feature a grown up Michael and Jane Banks (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer) and will introduce Michael’s children (Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and Joel Dawson) and their housekeeper, Ellen (Julie Walters). Three-time Academy Award nominee Angela Lansbury will play the books’ Balloon Lady and the film will also hail the return of the 1964 blockbuster’s Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr.
“After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives,” according to Disney. “Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Streep).
John DeLuca and Marc Platt are producing the film with Marshall. David Magee adapted the screenplay from Travers’ “Mary Poppins Stories.” “Hairspray” musicians Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will write all new songs, with Shaiman composing the original score.
Disney’s 1964 musical “Mary Poppins” marked Oscar winner Julie Andrews’ big screen debut as she originated the role of the titular character. She was joined by television star Van Dyke, who played the charming cockney chimney sweep, Bert. The musical was a box-office sensation that garnered five Academy Awards and two Grammys, including a lead actress win for Andrews.
The backstory of how Walt Disney wooed Travers was the subject of Disney’s 2013 film “Saving Mr. Banks,” which starred Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers.
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