Where Mary Poppins Returns Is Finding Its Story, According To Lin-Manuel Miranda

Mary Poppins

Of all of Disney's attempts to remake and reboot their classic franchises, none may be quite so courageous (or crazy) as producing a sequel to Mary Poppins. However, as Lin-Manuel Miranda says, the producers actually have even more material to draw from than we thought. While we knew that the writers were looking at P.L. Travers previous books to create Mary Poppins Returns, the actor says they'll actually be using parts of several of them to build the story.

This takes place about 20 years after the original Mary Poppins film took place. But I get to be around for the adventures with Mary and the kids and sing and dance and do all the fun things. It's a new story. There are about eight Mary Poppins books, so what the creative team has done is sort of taken some of the adventures from those. Michael and Jane Banks have grown up, so this has to do with their kids.

It's actually not too surprising that the creative team is looking at the entire run of Mary Poppins books to build the new movie. The original Mary Poppins actually used aspects of the first four books in the series to build its story. As Lin-Manuel Miranda tells Good Morning America, P.L. Travers continued to write new Mary Poppins books until the late 1980s. There are four additional books that can be mined for material, nevermind the fact that they could also go back and take unused material from those first four books. Maybe there was an adventure that wasn't used the first time around simply because filming it would have been too difficult. Over 40 years later modern digital effects can probably make pretty much anything in the book happen on screen.

The one significant change that we've known about is that the children in the new movie will be the kids of Jane and Michael Banks. While P.L. Travers wrote Mary Poppins books for decades, the stories never progressed very far in time. Jane and Michael were always the children that Mary Poppins dealt with (along with a pair of twins that were in all the books but never featured in the film). The time shift in the film is probably there because all of the actors have to be different than they were in the 1964 original film. While there's talk that Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews might appear in Mary Poppins Returns they, of course, will have to play different roles.

With Emily Blunt in the lead role as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Dick Van Dyke-ish part, we have to say that they couldn't have made better choices for their leads. Meryl Streep is also reportedly on board in a supporting role. We're looking forward to seeing what Mary Poppins Returns brings when the film hits theaters at Christmas of 2018.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.