Disney will be creating a new Mary Poppins movie featuring the beloved magical English nanny. The new musical film will be set in depression-era London, 20 years after the original. No estimates on the release date for the film have been disclosed by Disney.
The movie will be based on the popular P.L. Travers children’s books that brought the famous nanny to the world’s attention. The series of eight books by Travers follows the adventures of Poppins and how she changes the lives of the Banks family in London.
Director Rob Marshall has been reported to be associated with the project. He is well known for his work on other musicals, including Into The Woods and Chicago, as well as for directing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who worked on “Hairspray” and “Smash”, will compose new songs and a score for the film. Several generations of children have grown up singing the musical’s songs “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” so creating new songs as catchy as the original ones is going to be a challenge.
In the original, released nearly 50 years ago, Julie Andrews brought the Mary Poppins character to life and won an Oscar for her work. The original film won five Oscars, was nominated for eight others, and grossed over $100 million.
There is heightened speculation about who will play the iconic nanny in the new film. Some say that Anne Hathaway would be a natural for the part, citing her Academy Award for her singing role as Fantine in the movie adaptation of Les Misérables.
Actress Emily Blunt has also been linked to the title role for the film and may even be the frontrunner. Blunt and Marshall previously worked together on Into the Woods, so she has the musical experience for the role. She is also appearing in Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise, the Denis Villeneuve directed drama Sicario, and has one of the lead roles in The Girl on the Train adaptation, scheduled for release next year.