Disney has released two new behind-the-scenes featurettes for director John Lee Hancock’s upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks. The film’s story focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two. The film is considered a potential Oscar contender, especially as far as Hanks and Thompson’s performances are concerned. One of these two featurettes explores how Hanks approached playing Walt Disney in what will be the first time the visionary has ever been portrayed onscreen, while the second featurette delves into the music of Mary Poppins, as B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman play the legendary Sherman Brothers.
Hit the jump to watch the new featurettes, and if you missed Steve’s lengthy and wide-ranging chat with Hanks, click here. The film also stars Bradley Whitford, Paul Giamatti, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, and Colin Farrell. Saving Mr. Banks opens in limited release on December 13th before expanding wide on December 20th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Saving Mr. Banks:
Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen.
When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.
For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.
It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.