A sequel to the beloved children's film “Mary Poppins,” is expected to debut on Christmas Day in 2018. The new motion picture will star British actress Emily Blunt as the magical nanny in the role that singer Julie Andrews virtually owns since the release of the original, thus creating huge expectations on the part of viewers around the world.
Helmed by Rob Marshall, the film had already been announced by no release date was given. Director Marshall said he was "humbled and honored" to film the classic story. Marshall directed “Chicago” and “Into The Woods.” He said that the “original film means so much to me personally…I look forward to creating an original movie musical that can bring Mary Poppins, and her message that childlike wonder can be found in even the most challenging of times, to a whole new generation."
Released in 1964, the original Mary Poppins starred British singer Julie Andrews and the American comic and dancer, Dick Van Dyke. A major success and perennial favorite, it won five Oscars.
Based on the books of PL Travers, it told the story of a magical nanny who arrived to help Mr. and Mrs. Banks and look after their lonely children Jane and Michael.
Travers wrote eight books about Mary Poppins, which were published between 1934 and 1988. Only the first book in the series has previously been adapted for the big screen.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created and also stars in the Broadway musical hit “Hamilton,” will play a street lamplighter. In the original, Van Dyke played a Cockney chimney sweep.
According to Disney, the planned sequel will take up the story of the grown-up Jane and Michael Banks, as well as Michael's three children, who will be visited by Poppins in "Depression-era London... following a personal loss." A Disney spokesman said of the Poppins character in the sequel, "Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives."
Miranda plays a lamplighter, a part that did not appear in the original film. The script will be written by “Finding Neverland” screenwriter David Magee, who will be using material from Travers’ seven other novels. The team of Marc Shiaman and Scott Wittman, who worked on the Broadway version of “Hairspray,” will write the music for the new film.
Blunt, a dual US/UK citizen, is married to American actor John Krasinski. She has played in numerous films, including "Into the Woods," "Boudica: Warrior Queen," "Sicario," and the yet to be released "The Girl on the Train."