Disney is reviving one of their most beloved and iconic characters with a new Mary Poppins movie. Rob Marshall (Chicago) is on board to direct the new original live-action musical from a script by David Magee (Life of Pi). EW reports that the new Mary Poppins film will take pace 20 years after the original classic, in Depression-era London, and will draw inspiration from the existing works P.L. Travers‘ Poppins book series and explore Mary’s further adventures with the Banks’ family.
The 1964 screen adaptation drew primarily from the first installment of Traver’s eight-book series, and while the new Poppins will pull from the follow-up novels, the report notes that the new film is “decidedly not being developed as a sequel”.
As for the musical aspect of the new Mary Poppins film, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the songwriting duo behind Hairspray and Smash, are set to compose original songs and a new score. Disney and Marshall are collaborating with the Travers estate and working with the support of Richard Sherman, who co-composed iconic songs like “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” alongside his late brother, Robert. Marshall has a good deal of experience in the realm of film musicals as well, directing Chicago to six Oscar wins, including Best Picture, and adapting the revered Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods to a critical and commercial success.
Despite the success of the P.L. Travers-centric Saving Mr. Banks, and the fact that Disney is currently mining all their old hits for new content, this still comes as a pretty big surprise. The preeminent question, of course, is who the hell could fill the enormous shoes of Julie Andrews, who originated the role of Mary Poppins in the 1964 classic.
For now you can remind yourself of the original films’ awesomeness by watching the trailer below. What do you think? Are you ready to return to the world of the magical miss Poppins and the Banks’ family? Who should Disney be eyeing for the lead roles? Get to fan-casting in the comments.