Mary Poppins won’t be the only one returning in two years’ time; Dick Van Dyke, the actor renown for the dual role of chimney sweeper Bert/Mr. Dawes in the 1964 classic, has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he’ll be making an appearance in 2018 sequel, Mary Poppins Returns.
Little is known about the extent of Van Dyke’s role in the long-in-development Disney sequel, only that the 91-year-old veteran will be portraying the son of his original character. Filming is expected to get underway in the spring, according to the film and TV icon, who told Entertainment Tonight that, “I’ll be going to London in the spring to do my role, and I get to do a little song-and-dance number. I gotta be a part of it.”
Dick Van Dyke now joins Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw for Mary Poppins Returns, while Emily Blunt has been selected to take point as Mary, the magical nanny with a soft spot for the Banks family.
Come 2018, she’ll be paying them a visit during the 1930s, where Michael (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are struggling with family issues within a Depression-era London. Streep is on board as Mary’s whimsical cousin Topsy, with Miranda attached to play Jack, the friendly lamplighter who walks the cobbled streets of the Big Smoke.
While speaking with THR, Van Dyke reflected on his experience working on Mary Poppins all those years ago, before touching base on the cast assembled for Rob Marshall’s 2018 sequel:
There was a spirit about that thing from the very beginning. Walt [Disney] had me in, and I heard the score and saw the scenes storyboarded on a wall, and I just knew…This one supposedly takes place 20 years later and the kids are all grown up. It’s a great cast — Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury and that guy [Lin-Manuel Miranda] from Hamilton.
Mary Poppins Returns is earmarked for December 25, 2018.