New photos and concept art from the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns have been revealed online. Over 50 years after the release of the original Mary Poppins in 1964, Disney is finally releasing a long-awaited sequel to their musical classic next December. Breaking from the mold of the House of Mouse’s recent attempts to remake their beloved collection of animated films in live-action format, Mary Poppins Returns is a direct follow-up to the original film. Emily Blunt is giving out the spoonfuls of sugar this time around, taking the role over for Julie Andrews as she tries to enchant audience members with valuable life lessons and catchy musical numbers. Beyond some recently leaked set photos, we have yet to have see anything from the long-anticipated sequel.
Since the film is not due out until December 2018, the Mouse House has plenty of time to get the ball rolling on marketing. It’s still far too early for a proper advertising campaign to begin, but the studio is still giving fans a small taste of what to expect in the form of some official stills and concept art.
These come courtesy of EW as part of their latest issue. Among the behind-the-scenes photos is a shot of director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) at work in front of what appears to be a model of Big Ben. The concept art includes shots of Miranda’s character repairing lamplights, an idyllic springtime look at Cherry Tree Lane, and the lamplighters in action at an abandoned London park. You can take a look at them in the gallery below:
The film is set 25 years after the original, as Poppins returns to London to re-enters the lives of Jane and Michael Banks (played by Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw). Dealing with a personal loss and raising children of their own, Mary comes back to use her magic as a tool for happiness and positivity, hoping to bring a “Supercalifragiliciousexpialadocious” attitude back into the lives of the family she cared for so many years ago.
Missing from the photos are several key supporting players, including the return of Dick Van Dyke, who is not playing Bert the Chimney Sweep this time around, instead taking over the role of Mr. Dawes Jr. from the deceased Arthur Malet. Also missing is Oscar-winner Colin Firth as William Weatherall Wilkins, rumored to be the antagonist of the film. Meryl Streep is not seen in costume, but is seen rehearsing for a musical number in one of the photos.
Despite this being the first direct sequel to Mary Poppins that Disney has released, they have told stories relating to the film in the not-too-distant past. In 2013, Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks starred in Saving Mr. Banks, based on the true story of Walt Disney’s attempts to convince the stubborn P.L. Travers to allow Walt Disney Pictures to adapt Mary Poppins into a musical film. The film was well-received by critics and audiences, earning a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Score.