Last September brought the news that Disney was reviving one of their most iconic characters with a new incarnation of Mary Poppins, the beloved children’s book character immortalized on the big screen by the inimitable Julie Andrews. At the time, I wondered who in the hell could fill Andrews’ impossibly large shoes. Today brings a hopeful answer in the form of one Emily Blunt, reigning Hollywood badass and actress extraordinaire who could probably be up for the role of Bert and people would still go with it.
Variety reports that Blunt is in talks to star in the sequel from director Rob Marshall, noting that the actress has been the favorite for the role from the start after collaborating with Marshall on Into the Woods. However, the report also notes that with a baby on the way, scheduling may become a conflict. Let’s hope not. As far as casting options go, Blunt is as good as it gets. There’s no replicating Julie Andrews, but Blunt might be able to pull off something entirely new, but equally good.
The report also confirms that the new Mary Poppins film will take pace 20 years after the original in Depression-era London, and will draw inspiration from the existing works P.L. Travers‘ Poppins book series and explore Mary’s further adventures with the Banks’ family.
While the 1964 classic drew heavily from Travers’ first book, Marshall clarified in an interview with Vulture that his take on the project wouldn’t rehash the beloved original, but would explore more of Travers’ Poppins books.
“It is not a new Mary Poppins…P.L. Travers wrote eight books all together. They worked from the first book, and we are working from the other books, not touching the iconic brilliance of Mary Poppins. This is an extension. I’m a huge fan of the original, and I’m a very good friend of Julie Andrews, and I hold it in such awe…There is all this new material — it was the Harry Potter of its time — and they were never turned into anything further than that adventure.”
Life of Pi scribe David Magee is attached to write the screenplay, while the Grammy and Tony-winning duo behind Hairspray, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, will be composing original songs and an all-new score.