Over 50 years after its initial release, Mary Poppins still remains one of Disney's classic hits, blending live action and animation to create a heartwarming (if not completely faithful) adaptation of P.L. Travers' original work. While most never imagined the House of Mouse would make a Mary Poppins 2, this has finally come to pass decades later, as Mary Poppins Returns will arrive in the next few years. One of the actors participating in this follow-up is Hamilton superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda, and he recently provided a few tidbits about what moviegoers can expect from the sequel.
Speaking with Variety, Miranda slightly elaborated on Mary Mary Poppins Returns' plot, including how his character, a lamplighter named Jack, specifically connects to Dick Van Dyke's lovable Bert from the original movie. He said:
Michael and Jane Banks have grown up, and they find themselves in their own spot, and Mary Poppins comes back to take care of Michael's kids. I play a lamplighter named Jack who sort of grew up apprenticing to Bert. So I know if Mary Poppins shows up, it's gonna get awesome. I perform that function in the movie, of saying: 'Y'all don't know about Mary Poppins. When Mary's around, cool sh-- happens.'
While we already knew about how Mary Poppins Returns would reunite the eponymous protagonist with Jane and Michael Banks as adults, Lin-Manuel Miranda did clarify (as most of us expected) that Mary would be looking after Michael's kids. It's also interesting to hear that Jack studied under Bert the chimney sweep (I guess lamp-lighting was a better fit for him), and years later, he taken Bert's spot as the guy who gets the kids excited about Mary Poppins and her magic, presumably in song form whenever possible. Speaking of Dick van Dyke, Miranda hasn't met with the male lead from the original movie yet to get any advice. However, considering that Van Dyke and Julie Andrews are rumored to cameo in Mary Poppins Returns, Miranda may get his wish to meet him soon enough.
Set during the Great Depression, i.e. 20 years after the events of the first movie, Mary Poppins Returns will see Mary returning to help the Banks family after they suffer a personal loss to add more magic into their lives. Along with Lin-Manuel-Miranda's Jack, the cast also includes Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins herself and Meryl Streep as Topsy, Mary's cousin who is an original character created for the sequel. Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw is also reportedly playing Michael Banks, though this hasn't been confirmed yet. Mary Poppins Returns is among the many live action re-visits/remakes of Disney's classic features that are coming in the foreseeable future.
Directed by Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters on December 25, 2018.