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It was only a couple of days ago news broke that Disney brought in most of the production team behind Into The Woods to begin to put together a potential new version of their 1964 Academy Award winner, Mary Poppins. Now it looks like they already have an eye on their lead. Who is it? Somebody else from Into the Woods (shocking) and remarkably it isn’t Anna Kendrick (we know that’s what you were thinking).
Den of Geek reports that Emily Blunt is at the top of the short list to take over for Julie Andrews in the iconic role. It turns out oddsmakers may actually know what they’re talking about. There’s no evidence there has been any discussion with Blunt, rather she is simply somebody Disney is considering for the role. And you know what? That wouldn’t be a terrible choice. It keeps Mary Poppins English, as opposed to casting an American and faking the accent, and we know Blunt can sing. If we’re going to accept that this is a movie that’s going to happen, Blunt may be the best way to move forward.
The question is, would Blunt truly be interested? She has previously stated that she’s "terrified of sequels." While she was only speaking about sequels to movies she was in at the time, her main fear, that a bad sequel will dilute the strength of the original, could still hold true here. Taking on such an iconic role that was played to perfection by a great actress would also be one hell of an undertaking, and it’s possible taking on such a part would be equally terrifying. We’re making the assumption that she loves Mary Poppins, of course, because everybody loves Mary Poppins.
All we know about the planned film is that it will take place 20 years after the original movie, and use some of the later Mary Poppins books as source material. Believe it or not, author P.L. Travers continued to write books practically until her death in 1996 at the age of 96. The last book in the series was published in 1988. The books and the movies did come together one other time. In 2013, Disney produced Saving Mr. Banks, a movie about the difficult process of the original film’s creation and the relationship between Travers and Walt Disney.
There’s a long list of other Disney remakes planned before Mary Poppins 2: Pop Harder ever sees the light of day. Producers will likely need to use most of that time to convince fans that this is a good idea, though if this is the first step, it's not a bad one. Good luck recasting Dick Van Dyke though.