Despite a pretty swell fake poster pitting Ryan Gosling as Walt Disney, it appears Tom Hanks may be the one to portray the legend onscreen. While we previously heard he was a possibility, Variety now reports that Hanks is officially in talks alongside Emma Thompson to star in the “making-of Mary Poppins” film Saving Mr. Banks. The pic tells the true story of Disney’s 14-year courtship of Australian author P.L. Travers for the rights to the Mary Poppins character. Thompson is negotiating to play Travers, who was ultimately displeased with the 1964 feature film adaptation (especially the animated sequences) and even more upset with the way the property was treated by Disney. Ironically, Disney is the studio that’s putting Saving Mr. Banks together. Hit the jump for more.
Meryl Streep was previously mentioned as a possibility for the Travers role, but I quite like the casting of Thompson. As for Hanks, it’s difficult to think of a more amiable actor to portray Walt Disney. I’m less enthused by the choice of director, John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), but with Disney backing the project I guess family-friendly was inevitable. I just hope the rough edges of the Disney/Travers relationship aren’t smoothed out for the feature version of their story in lieu of a “happy ending.”
Hanks recently wrapped Cloud Atlas with the Wachowskis, and is next set to shoot the Somali pirate pic Captain Phillips for director Paul Greengrass. Thompson shot the biopic Effie, based on a script she wrote, late last year with Dakota Fanning and she recently signed on to star in the adaptation Beautiful Creatures. She’ll next be seen in this summer’s Men in Black 3 and will be heard in Brave.