Mary Poppins Returns is slated for release in December 2018. It hasn’t yet been confirmed whether Dick Van Dyke will be reprising his iconic role as chimney sweep Bert or resurrecting his memorable Cockney accent.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Van Dyke said, “It’s a great cast – Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury and that guy [Lin-Manuel Miranda] from Hamilton.”
Van Dyke spoke of meeting with Walt Disney ahead of his casting in the original Mary Poppins and said that there was “a spirit” about the production from the very beginning. Walt Disney showed him storyboards of all the scenes which had been displayed on the walls, and the Sherman brothers, who wrote the score, played him the music from the film. He said, “I walked out of there on the air. I knew. We just knew something special was happening.”
He told Entertainment Tonight that he would be filming in London this coming spring and that the film’s creators were keen for him to take on the role of the son of Mr. Dawes, the elderly banker he played alongside Bert in the original. He also revealed that there would be “a little song and dance number”.
Coming more than 50 years after the original, the film will be set 20 or so years after the events of the 1964 film in Depression-era London. It will focus on Jane and Michael Banks who are now all grown up, with Michael having kids of his own. Mary Poppins, their childhood nanny, re-enters their lives when the family suffers a tragedy. In classic Mary Poppins style, she helps them through.
Hot new Hollywood property Lin-Manuel Miranda will play a new character, Jack the lamplighter, who turns up in tow with Mary Poppins, and Meryl Streep will play a character named Topsy, a cousin of Mary Poppins. Emily Blunt will pick up the title role, while Emily Mortimer is lined up to play Jane. Ben Whishaw will play Michael.
Angela Lansbury makes an exciting addition to the cast in an as-yet-unannounced role. Lansbury was originally considered by Walt Disney for the role of Mary Poppins in the original. Colin Firth will also feature.
Despite speculation, there’s been no confirmation yet as to whether Julie Andrews will make an appearance but fans would love to see her return in a cameo role.