For all of the hustle and bustle swirling around Disney’s slate of live-action fairytales, the Mouse House has spent the past 12 months quietly piecing together Mary Poppins Returns, the follow-up to Robert Stevenson’s 1964 family classic.
Unlike, say, next month’s Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins Returns is very much designed as a sequel to the first, as opposed to an out-and-out remake, with Emily Blunt’s magical nanny poised to pay a visit to the Banks family in 1930s London. Indeed, Blunt is just one of a handful of Hollywood A-listers on board for the 2018 movie, and just as filming gets underway in the English capital, Disney has now revealed the full ensemble cast.
Buoyed by the landmark success of his Broadway hit Hamilton – not to mention musical contributions to the likes of Moana – Lin-Manuel Miranda will play the part of sprightly lamplighter Jack. Elsewhere, Spectre‘s Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer will play Michael and Jane Banks, all grown up and now struggling to make ends meet in Depression-era London. Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep are also attached, while Pixie Davies (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Nathanael Saleh (Game of Thrones) and Joel Dawson will play the film’s three children. Dick Van Dyke is also back, and will play Mr. Dawes Jr., the chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.
“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).
Mary Poppins Returns opens on December 25th, 2018. It promises a new adventure pulled from the pages of PL Travers’ beloved novel saga, but are you excited to see what Disney has in store? Do let us know.