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Emily Blunt: ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Will ‘Hopefully Stand Alone’

INDIEWIRE – Good things take time. Nearly 55 years after the original “Mary Poppins” dropped into theaters, care of Julie Andrews and her iconic umbrella, the film is finally getting a sequel, this one starring Emily Blunt as the eponymous nanny with a magical way of doing things. The film, “Mary Poppins Returns,” reteams Blunt with her “Into the Woods” director Rob Marshall, hinting that there will be no shortage of large-scale musical set pieces. Still, the biggest challenge for Blunt was the most obvious one: taking over such a beloved character, who also happened to be played by an equally as beloved actress.

“Rob Marshall sort of protected me from the idea that I felt like I was moving a boulder out of the way of this iconic role played by someone as iconic and as brilliant as Julie Andrews,” Blunt told IndieWire. “Ultimately, he allowed it to feel like an intimate process where I could just make her my own. It will be my interpretation of her, for better or worse.”

Set in Depression-era London, the film reintroduces the Banks kids — Jane and Michael, now adults — and picks up after a “personal loss” that has impacted both the siblings and Michael’s own trio of kids. Per the official synopsis, Mary uses her “unique magical skills” to help “the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.”

The film stars Ben Whishaw as Michael and Emily Mortimer as Jane, along with Meryl Streep as Mary’s own “eccentric cousin” and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a lamplighting apprentice. Angela Lansbury, Julie Walters, and Colin Firth also appear, and original star Dick Van Dyke is reportedly on board for a cameo appearance.

“It’s beautiful. I’ve seen it,” Blunt said. “It’s absolutely magical, yet grounded and I think will hopefully stand alone as an independent feature. It’s the next chapter of Mary Poppins and I absolutely adored doing it.”

The actress didn’t rematch the original film during the process of making her own “Mary Poppins,” all the better to allow the character to become her own. “I tried not to be swayed by the details of what Julie did, so that I could really just have my own impression of her from the books,” she said.

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‘Final Portrait’ New York Screening

Emily, alongside her sister Felicity and husband John Krasinski was in attendance at the New York screening of Final Portrait last night–held at the Guggenheim Museum. The film was directed by her brother-in-law, Stanley Tucci, and a mini The Devil Wears Prada reunion took place as Meryl Streep was also at the star-studded event. Over 100 photos from the screening have been added to the gallery, courtesy once again of my friend Emily. Enjoy!

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SXSW Portraits

Our gallery has been updated with some great portrait sessions of Emily taken as SXSW Festival during her promotion of A Quiet Place. Enjoy!