Disney has made it official: Emily Blunt and Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda will star in Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to the 1964 classic film Mary Poppins, and Rob Marshall (Chicago) is directing. The film has a release date of December 25, 2018.
When Miranda's name surfaced as a possible co-star, there was some discussion about whether or not he'd contribute to the music of the movie as well as acting in it. That doesn't appear to be the case, because the press release doesn't mention anything about it; if he was helping out in the music department, I'd assume Disney would want to broadcast that as loudly as possible in order to capitalize on the crazy success of Hamilton.
December of 2018 is shaping up to be a busy movie season. DC has an untitled event film scheduled for that Christmas, Lord & Miller's animated Spider-Man hits on December 21, there's an Avatar sequel arriving around that time, and all of that is just off the top of my head. It's going to be crazy to see how competitive things get and which films survive that box office frenzy that's waiting to happen. Read the full press release below:
BURBANK, Calif. (May 31, 2016) – Golden Globe Award® winner Emily Blunt (“Into the Woods,” the upcoming “Girl on the Train”) and Emmy®, GRAMMY®, Tony Award® and Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “In the Heights”) are set to star in “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel to the studio’s 1964 classic, “Mary Poppins,” which will be released on December 25, 2018.
Reuniting the director and producing team behind Disney’s hit film musical “Into the Woods,” the film will be directed by Oscar® nominee, Emmy® and DGA Award winner Rob Marshall and produced by Marshall, Emmy winner and Golden Globe® nominee John DeLuca and Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award® nominee and Golden Globe winner Marc Platt. The screenplay will be written by Oscar nominee David Magee based on The Mary Poppins Stories by P.L. Travers, with Oscar nominee and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman composing an all-new score and Shaiman and Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Scott Wittman writing original songs.
Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be asked by Disney to bring P.L. Travers’ further adventures to the screen. The iconic original film means so much to me personally, and I look forward to creating an original movie musical that can bring Mary Poppins, and her message that childlike wonder can be found in even the most challenging of times, to a whole new generation,” says Marshall.
P.L. Travers introduced the world to the no-nonsense nanny in her 1934 book “Mary Poppins,” which Disney adapted for the screen and released in August, 1964. The film, which was directed by Robert Stevenson and starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, won five Academy Awards®, including Best Actress for Andrews. However, the subsequent adventures of Mary Poppins remained only on the pages of P.L. Travers’ seven additional books, which she published between 1935 and 1988.