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When Julie Andrews' Mary Poppins flew off on that umbrella in the original film, it would be the first and last time the actress coasted through the skies. Emily Blunt's iteration of the character, however, may not mind braving that pesky London fog back and forth for another adventure. Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall has just confirmed his production team over at Disney are planning a third film for the magical nanny. In his words:
It is early stages but I will say right now that there were eight books, so there's a lot of great material still to mine. That's what we worked from, those incredible eight books of P.L. Travers. So, you know.
Rob Marshall revealed this delightful news whilst speaking at the American Airlines, BBC America and Jaguar Land Rover Bafta Tea Party (via The Sun). The third film would see the return of Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and would draw from more source material by P.L. Travers the filmmakers looked to for the recent musical sequel.
When speaking of the franchise's potential, the Mary Poppins Returns director compared the beloved nanny to James Bond and the Star Wars films -- which seemingly will always keep going. As Rob Marshall put it:
If there's a great character and story to tell, why not?
Giving Mary Poppins a sequel in the first place did take 54 years. Many regarded the classic musical as untouchable until Disney entrusted the Chicago and Into the Woods director with helming the sequel.
Rob Marshall and his team pulled off the impossible; they introduced a Mary Poppins audiences have accepted with open arms and created a completely new musical as well. It could have gone horribly wrong.
Emily Blunt has even made her interest in playing Mary Poppins again in a sequel clear, which would definitively be key to making more movies. So 'why not?' is right.
The stickler for an ongoing Mary Poppins franchise would be that audiences would expect to walk into a musical each time a new one comes out, and there has never been a musical franchise that's successfully pulled off more than two films.
That's not to say it couldn't happen with Mary Poppins. The recent sequel had music duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman drum up some practically perfect original music numbers and they might have more song ideas up their sleeves.
The filmmakers do risk making a so-so Mary Poppins sequel after making a good one, which could spoil the almost squeaky-clean reception of these films thus far. Mary Poppins Returns also borrowed a lot from the original plot wise. Maybe if the next film took audiences on a completely different adventure then the first two, it would be worthwhile? Let us know what you think!