Back in September, Disney announced they were moving forward on a Mary Poppins sequel, that will take place roughly 20 years after the events of the original movie, set in the 1930s. We haven’t heard anything about the project since then, but today we have word from The Hollywood Reporter that Emily Blunt is in talks to star as the title character. The actress’ name surfaced as a potential candidate to play Mary Poppins in September, but now negotiations are officially under way.
The story will be pulled from author P.L. Travers‘ eight literary sequels, including the first follow-up Mary Poppins Comes Back. The first Mary Poppins movie was released in 1964, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, with the story set in 1910. This new report reveals that the sequel is set in Depression-era London, following the adult Michael Banks, who now has children of his own. When his big sister Jane returns to town, after falling on hard times, their beloved Mary Poppins comes back to help.
Author P.L. Travers wrote eight Mary Poppins books, but it isn’t known if this theatrical follow-up will be adapted from a specific story within those books, or if it will be an amalgam of those stories. P.L. Travers‘ literary sequels include Mary Poppins Comes Back (1935), Mary Poppins Opens the Door (1943), Mary Poppins in the Park (1952), Mary Poppins From A to Z (1962), Mary Poppins in the Kitchen (1975), Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane (1982) and Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (1988). Part of the story will most likely be based on Mary Poppins Comes Back, but we don’t know if that will be the official title yet.
Rob Marshall is directing from a screenplay by David Magee (Life of Pi and Finding Neverland). Rob Marshall is teaming up with musicians Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray), who will compose original songs and a new score. The filmmakers are also working with P.L. Travers‘ estate and the project has the blessing of Mary Poppins composer Richard M. Sherman, who wrote the movie’s famous songs like “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with his late brother, Robert B. Sherman.
Rob Marshall is also producing alongside John DeLuca and Marc Platt, who all collaborated on the Disney musical adaptation Into the Woods. This project comes just two years after the release of Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. That film told the behind-the-scenes story of how Walt Disney convinced P.L. Travers to turn Mary Poppins into a feature film, which earned $116.5 million at the box office worldwide during its theatrical run. Emily Blunt most recently starred in the critically-acclaimed Sicario, and she will next be seen later this year in The Huntsman: Winter’s War (April 22) and The Girl on the Train (October 7).