Why Julie Andrews Won't Show Up In Mary Poppins Returns

Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins

The sequel to Mary Poppins is currently filming and it will be here in 2018. One of the actors from the original, Dick Van Dyke, will be making a cameo appearance, but the original Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews will not. It would be easy to assume that a lack of participation might indicate a lack of support for the new film or in Emily Blunt's performance in the title role. However, the truth is quite the opposite. According to the director, Andrews is staying out of the film because she doesn't want to do anything that might take away from Blunt portrayal of the magical nanny. Rob Marshall says...

Julie was incredibly gracious, and we talked about it in a very general way but she made it clear right up front. She said, 'This is Emily's show, and I really want it to be Emily's show. I don't want it to be, Oh, here comes that Mary Poppins. I don't want that. I really want her to take this and run with it, because she will be brilliant.'

It would seem that Rob Marshall tried to hint at the idea of Julie Andrews taking some sort of role in the new film, but Andrews shot it down immediately. It's an incredibly nice thing for her to do. While Mary Poppins fans would love to see Julie Andrews again, it's certainly true that as soon as the actress came on screen, all attention would shift from Emily Blunt to the woman who originated the role. By staying off the screen it will help reduce comparisons (though certainly not eliminate them) and help let Emily Blunt make the role her own.

It's clear from Rob Marshall's complete comments to Entertainment Weekly that Julie Andrews is actually over the moon that Mary Poppins Returns is happening, and even more excited that Emily Blunt will be taking the title role. The last thing Julie Andrews wants to do is steal the film's thunder.

The other lead of the original Mary Poppins Dick Van Dyke, will appear in the new film in the role of Mr. Dawes Jr., the son of one of the characters he played in the original film. He was originally done up in so much makeup that he was essentially unrecognizable. Odds are something similar will be done here, so people won't necessarily even know Van Dyke is on screen.

We have to agree with Julie Andrews that Emily Blunt feels like the perfect choice bring Mary Poppins back to the big screen. While we would have loved to see Andrews make an appearance, we can't fault her for wanting to give Blunt the best possible chance of success. Mary Poppins Returns arrives in theaters on Christmas Day 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.