Production is officially underway in London on the Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns, the follow-up to Disney’s 1964 musical classic that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. This new film is based on the Mary Poppins stories by P.L. Travers and boasts a screenplay by Life of Pi scribe David Magee, with Oscar-winning Chicago and Into the Woods filmmaker Rob Marshall directing.
The story is set in 1930s depression-era London, with kids Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) now all grown up. Michael suffers a personal loss, after which Mary Poppins—played by Emily Blunt—returns along with an optimistic street lamplighter named Jack, played by Hamilton creator/star Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The tremendous ensemble cast is rounded out by Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, and Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr., the chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, which is now run by Firth’s character William Weatherall Wilkins. This is one hell of a cast, with one hell of an iconic property, but Marshall has certainly proven a knack for bringing musicals to the big screen in exciting, star-studded ways even if his forays into non-musical territory (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) have been less successful.
Hairspray alums Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are writing all new songs for Mary Poppins Returns, with Shaiman composing the original score. Marshall is also working with frequent cinematographer Dion Beebe (Edge of Tomorrow, Memoirs of a Geisha), Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell (Shakespeare in Love), and Oscar-winning production designer John Myhre (Chicago).
Read the official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns below. The film opens in theaters on December 25, 2018.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers’ additional seven books. In the story, Michael (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Streep).