Variety is reporting that Disney is in talks with Edge of Tomorrow star Emily Blunt for the lead role in their planned Mary Poppins sequel, set to be directed by Chicago director Rob Marshall.
Blunt is the studio and filmmakers’ favourite and top choice for the role but scheduling conflicts and Blunt’s pregnancy may hinder her chances of playing the iconic character that made Julie Andrews a household name.
Blunt was also my top pick for the role. She holds an inherent level of sophistication and has shown terrific range. She showed she can do comedy in The Devil Wears Prada and The Muppets, she showed she can do drama in Sicario and Looper, she tore the action genre open with Edge of Tomorrow and she has previous with director Marshall with Into the Woods.
This Mary Poppins film will take place 20 years after the events of the 1964 film and take inspiration of P.L. Travers’ series of books. Whilst the Disney classic took its notes from the first of Travers’ novels, this sequel/reimagining will take its cues from more than one novel.
Disney is extremely serious about this Mary Poppins sequel; they have set David Magee to pen the screenplay. Magee’s previous works include Finding Neverland and Life of Pi, both very solid feature films. Disney has also set Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman as the film’s composers. Shaiman and Wittman are the songwriters behind such musicals as Smash and Hairspray.
The Mary Poppins sequel has been given the Travers estate blessing as well as the approval of Richard Sherman. Sherman, alongside his brother, penned the iconic ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’ and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’.
I was never a big fan of Mary Poppins. I’ll probably get lynched for saying that. Poppins was before my time. It proved too backdated and too cartoony for me to fall in love with. This update/sequel could bring the story for a new generation of audiences and kick off a new lucrative Disney franchise.
I can already see all the jokes circulating about how this will require a spoonful of sugar to go down with the fans or how Disney will need to hide in the handbag to avoid the abuse. I’m just hoping Disney finally confirms Mary Poppins to be a Time Lord; it’s the only way to explain everything she is able to do.
Mary Poppins has no release date as of yet.