One of the most exciting films that Disney has coming for us this year is John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks, which tells the story of Walt Disney’s quest to make Mary Poppins. Today, we have the first official image from the film which features Tom Hanks as Mr. Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers.
Disney’s daughters begged him to adapt their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, into a movie, so the father promised he would. What he didn’t know when he made that promise is that Travers would be so adamantly opposed to having her character changed by Hollywood. For 20 years Disney tried to get Travers to agree, until finally money began to run short for her, and she reluctantly agreed to go to Los Angeles and hear Disney’s plans for the film.
For those two weeks in 1961, Disney pulled out all the stops in an attempt to woo Travers into finally selling him the rights. It originally seemed like Travers wouldn’t give in, despite Disney’s best efforts, so he had to discover the ghosts that haunt her in order to finally convince her to allow him to make the movie. Of course, we all know that the movie eventually gets made, but that doesn’t mean watching the journey will be any less exciting.
Thompson says that Travers is the most difficult character she’s ever played due to her complexity and contradiction. Check out what she had to say about that below.
Often I play people who are controlled by some very clear guiding moral principles. Like Margaret Schlegel [in Howards End], guided by the early principles of feminism and equal rights, and Elinor Dashwood [in Sense and Sensibility], guided by the principles of decency and honor. There are very clear moral prisms these women pour life through, and I understand that very well. And [Travers] was not like that at all. She was far more chaotic and confused and morally various.
Saving Mr. Banks opens in limited theaters December 13th before expanding to its wide release on December 20th. The film also stars Ruth Wilson, Colin Farrell, Rachel Griffiths, and Paul Giamatti.
What do you think of this first image from Saving Mr. Banks? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.