Spectre and The Danish Girl star Ben Whishaw is reportedly circling the role of a grown-up Michael Banks in Disney sequel, Mary Poppins Returns.
The Hollywood Reporter has the casting scoop, noting that negotiations are still ongoing. Should a deal place, Whishaw would star opposite Sicario‘s Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, with Meryl Streep said to be closing in on a role as well.
Taking place 20 years after the ’64 classic, the House of Mouse has drafted in Rob Marshall to helm the long-rumored sequel, teeing up an Into the Woods reunion with both Blunt and Streep. According to THR, London will play host to Mary Poppins Returns in early 2017, when John DeLuca and Marc Platt will oversee production.
After earning critical acclaim London Spy and The Lobster – not to mention his delicate performance in Paddington – the potential addition of Whishaw is a major coup for Disney’s Mary Poppins sequel, with the official synopsis revealing that “the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins (Blunt) following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack (Miranda), she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.”
Mary Poppins Returns is expected to cast a spell over an entirely new generation on December 25, 2018.