Mary Poppins has landed.
Mary Poppins Returns
The imminent live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast looks wonderful, sure, but it’s sorely lacking the presence of Angela Lansbury, particularly in the musical department. Rest assured that Disney recognizes your disappointment and they, too, feel as though we could all desperately use a little Lansbury magic in our lives — thus, a solution has emerged: The artist formerly known as Jessica Fletcher will generously grace the Mary Poppins sequel with her presence.
After months of rumormongering and speculating and debating over whether Lin-Manuel Miranda has what it takes to make the jump to the big screen from Broadway, sequel Mary Poppins Returns has finally begun shooting. Disney sent out an official press release yesterday announcing that the production was officially underway at Shepperton Studios in Burbank, California, with a project release date of Christmas Day in 2018. (Nothing gets people in the mood for a movie-musical quite like the holidays, it would seem, as director Rob Marshall’s last film Into the Woods found a release date in late December as well.) And along with the news that the gears are now turning, the press release provided a full cast list and more comprehensive description of the plot as well.
Dick Van Dyke remains a beloved and esteemed entertainer at age 91, fondly remembered for his charismatic performances as a hapless songwriter in Bye Bye Birdie and a sooty-faced chimneysweep in Disney’s 1964 musical Mary Poppins. What he’s remembered decidedly less fondly for is the other role he played in the period-piece musical, elderly bank chairman Mr. Dawes, Senior. Clad in old-age makeup and credited as “Nackvid Keyd” (an anagram of Dick Van Dyke), the notorious D.V.D. busted out a frightfully bad Cockney accent in his scenes as the tight-fisted money man. Widely mocked at the time and voted the second-worst accent ever in a poll from Empire, it was not the high point of Van Dyke’s impressive career.
Colin Firth, America’s favorite dashing Brit (sorry, Hugh Grant), is currently in negotiations to join Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda in Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to Disney’s original Mary Poppins movie.
The newest news out of Hollywood’s un-asked-for sequel factory comes from the Mary Poppins follow-up Mary Poppins Returns. Joining Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is Emily Mortimer (Shutter Island, The Newsroom), who has landed a role as adult Jane Banks.