If you’ve been paying attention to the world of TV and film lately, you’ll notice one trend that has been dominating entertainment: nostalgia. Programming seems to be catered to young adults who long to go back to a simpler time, except with a bigger budget. Disney has been cashing in on this trend by producing live-action adaptations of classic Disney cartoons, and now it appears that sequels are on the table too. Disney announced today that it will officially be producing a sequel to 1964’s Mary Poppins, which will be released in 2018.
Disney made an announcement today regarding the formerly rumored Mary Poppins sequel. In addition to being confirmed by the studio, Disney also released a ton of information regarding the venture. The film has been titled Mary Poppins Returns, and will continue the same timeline as the original film. Set in Depression-era London, the film will follow Mary as she returns to once again assist a fully grown version of Jane and Michael Banks, the children from the first film. Michael, now a father of 3, and his sister Jane will need Mary’s perspective, magic, and love as they suffer from a personal loss.
The cast of Mary Poppins Returns is largely a mystery, but will include huge names playing the leading roles. Emily Blunt, who had been long-rumored to be playing the magical nanny, will indeed be playing the new version of Mary Poppins. Joining her is Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will be playing a new character named Jack. Jack will essentially be a new version of Dick Van Dyke’s Bert: a chimney sweep who has some sort of a relationship with Mary. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a wildly successful musical theater actor and writer, who created and starred in both In the Heights and this year’s Hamilton. The two leading actors are also award winners, with Blunt winning a Golden Globe winner for her performance in Gideon’s Daughter and Miranda being a two-time Tony Award winner himself (although he will likely have a few more after this year’s Tony Awards, which will likely be awarding Hamilton a ton of trophies).
In addition to casting and plot details, Disney also revealed that the film already has a release date: December 25th, 2018. This seems like a rather brilliant marketing move, as most films will be avoiding Christmas release dates since Star Wars will be dominating that time slot for the next few years. Mary Poppins Returns will be able to cater to families, rather than fanboys. And both properties are owned by Disney, so they basically win no matter what.
Overall, Mary Poppins Returns sounds like an exciting new project for the House of Mouse. The studio has P.L. Travers’ book series to reference regarding how Mary’s other adventures would operate. We saw Emily Blunt’s singing talents in Into The Woods, so the leading duo certainly have the talent to make their respective characters pop on screen. Now all we need is some great new music by Tony Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and a role for Julie Andrews and we’re in business.
What do you think of Mary Poppins Returns? Are you excited, or should Disney have left the original alone? Sound off in the comments below.