Although Walt Disney Pictures is currently in the processing of remaking several of the studio’s own classic animated films (see The Jungle Book) and live-action/animated films alike (see Pete’s Dragon) as modern live-action/CGI movies, Mary Poppins is not among them. However, the ‘Practically Perfect in Every Way’ nanny is getting a sequel – one that shall take place some twenty years after the events of Disney’s Oscar-winning Mary Poppins (a movie that hit theaters all the way back in 1964), according to previous reports on the project.
Rob Marshall, whose previous directorial efforts includes such big screen musicals as Chicago, Nine, and Into the Woods, is onboard to helm the currently-untitled Mary Poppins sequel, while Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) is now in talks to play Miss Poppins – following in the footsteps of Julie Andrews before her. Since that news emerged, some have started to speculate about who will, in turn, follow in Dick Van Dyke’s footsteps and play Bert in the sequel. The latest update on this project reveals that Bert won’t be in the Mary Poppins sequel… but that a very similar character will.
Variety is reporting that Lin-Manuel Miranda – better known as the creator and star of the immensely popular Broadway musical Hamilton – is in talks to costar in the Mary Poppins sequel as Jack, who is described as being “a lamplighter resembling the character of Bert.” Much like Blunt, Miranda already has an established working relationship with Disney; not only did he collaborate with director J.J. Abrams on the music heard during the Maz Kanata cantina sequence in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Miranda is actively co-writing the songs/music for Disney Animation’s upcoming film release, Moana.
Whereas Mary Poppins – itself, based on the novel series by P.L. Travers – takes place in Edwardian London, 1910, the sequel is reportedly set in Depression-era (read: 1930s) London and will revolve around Mary’s continuing adventures with the Banks family; including, one assumes the now grown-up Jane and Michael Banks from the 1964 film. It’s not clear yet exactly which one (if not more than one) of Traver’s Mary Poppins books will serve as the source material for the sequel (nor has a screenwriter been reported on yet), but Variety‘s article states that Miranda is expected to help with developing the songs for the Mary Poppins followup… as one would naturally expect, given Miranda’s musical pedigree.
Many a Mary Poppins fan no doubt has mixed feelings about Disney’s planned sequel; after all, as much as many love Andrews and Van Dyke’s performances as Mary Poppins and Bert, it’s very difficult to say no to a Mary Poppins film sequel (even a rather belated one) headlined by Blunt and Miranda. Marshall has also said that Andrews has given her blessing to the project – and may even make a special cameo in the sequel – so that a new generation of filmgoers can enjoy their own whimsical adventure with the ‘Practically Perfect’ nanny. Take (or leave) that, as you will.
We’ll bring you more information on the Mary Poppins sequel as it becomes available.