USA TODAY – Emily Blunt acknowledges that it’s hard to put in words what it’s like to play author P.L. Travers’ iconic nanny, though “joyful” and “utterly magical” do come up in conversation. Julie Andrews played the role in 1964 and the flying umbrella passes to Blunt for a sequel set in 1930s Depression-era London, where Poppins revisits a now-grown Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane Banks (Emily Mortimer) when their family needs her again. Back in the day, a spoonful of sugar helped the medicine go down, but Blunt’s Poppins hews more to Travers’ literary character. “I just loved how eccentric and wacky she is in the books — incredibly vain and rude to the children,” Blunt says. “As a British person, I really responded to that lack of saccharine relationships. I find it comforting the idea of someone just sweeping in who’s no-nonsense and cleaning everything up and making everything right again in a magical way that’s not sentimental.”
Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, I’ve updated the gallery with some great new photos from Mary Poppins Returns–including stills and images from rehearsals.
Fantastic news! We have yet another new look at Emily and the production of Mary Poppins Returns in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, which hits newsstands this Friday.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – It’s no secret that all nannies are compared to one single, supernaturally-inclined doyenne of discipline who flew in on the eastern wind in 1964. The iconic character has stayed in the hearts of moviegoers in the decades since she first burst onto the screen — and now, she’s back.
Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns (in theaters Christmas 2018) might be one of the highest-profile sequels ever attempted, more than half a century after Walt Disney’s cinematic classic immortalized the careers of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, smashed records, got a word in the dictionary (guess which one) and become one of the most cherished films of all time. Set in 1910, the original film, loosely based on the first two volumes of P.L. Travers’ eight-book series, told the story of how Mary Poppins united an absent father and his two playful children through her singular, enigmatic magic. But there were six more Travers books, bursting with more characters and stories, waiting to be adapted on screen one day.
Mary Poppins Returns, directed by Rob Marshall (Into the Woods), picks up 25 years after the events of the first film, fast-forwarding to London’s mid-1930s economic slump, the actual time period of Travers’ books. Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane has become the warm, loving home that banker and artist Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) shares with his wife and three children. But after the sudden death of Michael’s wife, the Banks family is shattered — even enthusiastic aunt Jane (Emily Mortimer), now a fervent union organizer, and long-time housemaid Ellen (Julie Walters) can’t help lift spirits — and so in time, the once-blossoming home is on the verge of foreclosure.
Earlier today, Disney released our very first look at Emily as the title character in Mary Poppins Returns–very exciting! You can view the full size image by clicking the preview photo below.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – She’s practically perfect from every angle.
Disney has just released a dazzling first look at Mary Poppins Returns, the forthcoming sequel in which the titular nanny is played by the correspondingly magical Emily Blunt. The original follow-up to the cherished 1964 musical will arrive in theaters Dec. 25, 2018.
In this new image, we get just a taste of all the trappings that will help transform Blunt into the legendary caretaker — namely, a stunning peacock-cobalt ruffled coat and a deep rich bird-adorned pink hat, both instantly parallel to but distinctive from what Julie Andrews donned in 1964. Mary Poppins’ boundless carpet bag, on the other hand, has received a complete makeover (though the jury is out on whether its endless contents have changed).
What’s more is that Mary looks to be right back on the edge of Cherry Tree Lane, the famed street where the stern but whimsical nanny first flew into the Banks family’s life years prior — 20, to be practically precise.
Mary Poppins Returns picks up two-and-change decades after the events of the 1964 film, furthering the adventures of Mary Poppins and the Banks children, Jane and Michael, who have long since grown up (they’re played in the film by Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw) but are no less in need of their former minder. The new tale, as penned by screenwriter David Magee, is set in Depression-era London and finds Mary Poppins returning to help the family rediscover joy after Michael suffers a personal loss.
The film pulls from stories within the other seven books of P.L. Travers’ original children’s series. As the Banks children grew, so did their travels with Mary Poppins, who popped in and out of their lives throughout the additional novels along with several other ephemeral characters that will now finally find their way onscreen (like recently-announced Angela Lansbury, who plays a maniacal balloon vendor).
In addition to Blunt, the principal cast also includes Lin-Manuel Miranda as a musical lamplighter named Jack, Meryl Streep as Mary’s cousin Topsy, Colin Firth as banker William Weatherall Wilkins, Julie Walters as loyal housekeeper Ellen, and a trio of newcomers filling the roles of Michael Banks’ children. Original star Dick Van Dyke will also make a featured appearance in the sequel.
Mary Poppins Returns reunites Blunt with director Rob Marshall, who most recently oversaw both Blunt and Streep in Disney’s film adaptation of Into the Woods in 2014. Marshall has enlisted Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman to compose new music for the film, which will be produced by the director, his partner John DeLuca, and film/stage producer (recently and notably, of La La Land) Marc Platt.
I’ve updated the gallery with our first batch of photos of Emily and husband John Krasinksi attending the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. Emily is nominated tonight for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her amazing work in The Girl on the Train. Be sure to check back later for further coverage from the event.
I’ve updated the gallery with screen captures from the Blu-ray edition of The Girl on the Train–including special features from the disc. Emily gives a powerhouse performance as Rachel Watson, a woman struggling to overcome an her addiction and inner demons that stem from her divorce and inability to fall pregnant. Her life becomes even more complicated when she finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. The film itself is flawed, yet still enjoyable, and it’s a shame that her work has been largely overlooked during awards season due to the mixed critical response towards the film. I hope you enjoy the screen captures, and just a warning for those that haven’t watched yet, they do contain spoilers.