Since Disney is remaking every movie they’ve ever released, rumors circulated as to what films were coming and who is going to star in them. Mary Poppins kept coming up, usually with Emily Blunt’s name attached to it. I’m happy to say those rumors are true! Mary Poppins Returns will hit movie theaters December 25, 2018. Broadway superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda was also cast in this upcoming feature. He will write new songs for the movie, and will also appear as a new character, a lamplighter named Jack. Rob Marshall is set to direct the movie. Mary Poppins Returns will feature a whole new score.
“Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. 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.” Source
Taking the story back to the books is a great idea for Disney! The Mary Poppins musical also featured new scenes from the books, and it worked out incredibly well. Emily Blunt, who previously played The Baker’s Wife in Disney’s production of Into the Woods, is a stellar choice for the “practically perfect” nanny. She’s a great actor, and has proven herself to also be a great singer. People on the Internet are already in hysterics about Julie Andrews being irreplaceable, but don’t seem to realize several things: Ms. Andrews can no longer sing, this character does not age, and several women have played the role on London and New York stages beautifully for years. Blunt is joining an elite team, rather than replacing a timeless wonder.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is an interesting choice for this production. Miranda, who penned and starred in both In the Heights and Hamilton, writes rap and hip hop, two genres not typically considered when discussing Depression-era London. Hopefully, with someone else creating the score, his beautiful lyrics will find a home in this movie. Casting Miranda as Mary Poppins’s new Burt is a terrible idea. He does not have a great voice. Miranda is an adequate singer, but his voice will pale in comparison to Blunt’s. This seems like an attention grab on Disney’s part. I saw In the Heights with both Miranda and his understudy, and I realized that he writes amazing musicals…as long as someone else stars in them.
Daily Geekette will definitely have an eye on news from Mary Poppins Returns as it continues to come out. So far, this looks to be pretty exciting!
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