Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda to Star in Disney's "Mary Poppins" Sequel
Disney is in the business of rebooting some of its most classic films: The modern update of 1950's "Cinderella" was one of the box office hits of 2015. The live retelling of 1967's The Jungle Book just hit theaters this spring. A live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast" starring Emma Watson is on deck for 2017, with "Tink" and "Cruella" to follow suit (featuring big name actresses Reese Witherspoon and Emma Stone, respectively). And the latest iconic film to get a modern update? "Mary Poppins".
At first glance, we're not quite sure what to make of the news. It's one thing for Disney to bring an animated classic to life, but this marks the first time they are turning their attention to updating their library of live-action films. Not to mention, the original film (which debuted in 1964) nabbed five Academy Awards and starred two of Hollywood's all-time greats: Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. That type of casting and critical success is just not the kind of movie magic you look to do-over. But some further digging reveals that Disney is hyperaware of these facts — and is looking to create more of a sequel, as opposed to a reboot. The film will take place after the events of the first film, in Depression-era London, and will follow a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, as well as Michael’s three children. Following a personal loss, they are visited by Mary Poppins, who uses her magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
And perhaps the most important fact is the leading lady Disney is eyeing up to step into Julie Andrews' shoes. The studio has successfully booked some of Hollywood's biggest actresses for its live-action films, including Watson, Witherspoon, Stone, Angelina Jolie, and Meryl Streep. "Mary Poppins" is no exception: Emily Blunt will star in the role. And it gets better: Lin-Manuel Miranda of "Hamilton" has been tapped to co-star as Jack, a street lamplighter friend of Poppins.
Blunt has previous experience with Disney's live-action films, as she appeared in 2014's "Into the Woods" as the baker's wife. But can she trick us into thinking taking our medicine is actually a delicious endeavor? That remains to be seen.
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