Hollywood in general is in the practice of revitalizing old, dormant existing properties and bringing them back decades later. Disney is one of the biggest studios out there practicing this model as they are remaking or re-introducing audiences to new versions of beloved films from various decades past. One of their big practices right now involves taking animated kid's movies and giving them live-action adaptations.
For Mary Poppins, Disney is also in the process of bringing a sequel to theaters by the name of Mary Poppins Returns, which will follow the return of the magical nanny to a grown up Michael and Jane Banks, who may be played by Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer respectively. The film is just over two years away from potentially hitting theaters, which means director Rob Marshall is in the process of finishing the script and casting supporting characters. Now, it appears another Oscar winner will be joining the magical sequel as well.
Variety is reporting Colin Firth is the latest actor to join the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to Julie Andrew's original film. Firth will be playing President of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank William Weatherall Wilkins. Firth joins the likes of Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Meryl Streep. The story will take place 25 years after the original, but it has not yet been revealed how exactly Firth's character will be involved in the story.
William Weatherall Wilkins could be a friend or foe to Mary Poppins this time around, but getting an actor of Firth's caliber is a great addition for the film. Mary Poppins is already beloved by many, and while it will be tough to rekindle the magic of the first film, the cast for the sequel alone should be able to get people interested.
Firth is now widely known for his role as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service, for which he is returning for the sequel, but he is also an Oscar winning actor. This makes him the perfect combination of recognizable name, but not being overshadowed by the rest of the cast assembled. Fans will have to wait and see how exactly Wilkins gets involved in the next adventure with Mary Poppins, but hopefully it is a sizable role that allows him to play off the other talented members of the cast.
- Mary Poppins Returns (2018) release date: Dec 19, 2018