Filming is now underway at Shepperton Studios on Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns starring Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton). Rob Marshall (Into the Woods) is directing the Mary Poppins sequel from a script by David Magee (Life of Pi), based on PL Travers’ The Mary Poppins Stories. The cast also includes Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep. Mary Poppins star Dick Van Dyke is set to play Mr. Dawes Jr, chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. The three Banks children will be played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, and Joel Dawson.
Disney is targeting a December 25, 2018 theatrical release for Mary Poppins Returns. The original film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke was released in August 1964 and earned 13 Academy Award nominations, winning five Oscars.
The new family-friendly film is produced by director Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, and Marc Platt. Hairspray‘s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote new songs for the production, and Shaiman is also working on the original score. Marshall, DeLuca, and Joey Pizzi (Chicago) are choreographing the dance numbers.
The Plot: 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).