VARIETY – The cast of “Mary Poppins Returns” has been selected for the Ensemble Performance Award by the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The honor will be presented at the festival’s Film Awards Gala on Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Cast members Emily Blunt, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Salah and Joel Dawson are expected to attend the event, where the award will be presented by the film’s director Rob Marshall. The festival, now in its 30th edition, runs from Jan. 3 to Jan. 14.
“‘Mary Poppins Returns is a happy film, that re-creates the magic and adventure of the first film,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In this outstanding sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family as they race to keep the bank’s executives from foreclosing on their home. Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda lead an excellent ensemble cast that also includes Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury and many others.”
Past recipients of the Ensemble Performance Award include Best Picture winner “Argo,” as well as past Best Picture nominees “American Hustle,” “The Big Short,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Imitation Game” and “The Social Network.”
The film has been named one of the top 10 movies of the year by AFI and the National Board of Review. It’s received three Critics Choice nominations, three Golden Globe nominations and a SAG Award nomination for Blunt.
Many congratulations to Emily, who has been nominated for her roles in A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Returns. I hope this will be a big awards season for her–and it would be much deserved if so. You can view the full list of SAG nominations by clicking here.
DEADLINE – Usually the SAG Awards are good for one or two out-of-left-field nominees in its movie competition, and you could say Emily Blunt’s double score for Lead Actress in Mary Poppins Returns and Supporting Actress in A Quiet Place might qualify.
Both are well-deserved, but few were predicting the latter, especially in a category that omitted more obvious choices such as Nicole Kidman; Claire Foy; and especially If Beale Street Could Talk’s Regina King, who has been cleaning up on the critics circuit. She was shut out along with her movie today, perhaps in favor of another, less-speculated contender, Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots, along with Blunt’s brilliant near-silent turn in A Quiet Place. Two years ago, Blunt also scored a stunner with SAG by gaining a Best Actress nomination for The Girl on the Train, which was the only major recognition she got for that role awards-wise.
Beyond the shakeup in the uber-competitive Supporting Actress race, the big news from SAG was the continuing strong move toward diversity in the Outstanding Cast category, which in the past few years has honored movies including The Help and Hidden Figures with big wins (last year it went to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). This time around SAG not only welcomed the largely all-black cast of Black Panther but also Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and the first all Asian-American cast from a studio film in 25 years, Crazy Rich Asians. Add in the unexpected entrant here, Bohemian Rhapsody — which, in addition to its expected Best Actor nom for Rami Malek as Queen singer Freddie Mercury, also brought along its whole cast in a significant move that could portend a bigger showing at the Oscars than some might have thought. After all, actors are the biggest voting bloc in the Academy by far, and they have certainly embraced the musical biopic here, and movies with a heavy musical component in general, if you throw in A Star Is Born and Mary Poppins Returns.
David Lee/Focus Features
A Star Is Born’s inclusion for Cast was a no-brainer, and with four nominations overallm it predictably led all films this year and might be a nominal front-runner in what is still continuing to be a wide-open race this awards season. Panther’s nom, its only mention other than for Stunt Ensemble, reps a breakthrough for superhero movies and wouldn’t be a shocker to see its landmark cast onstage January 27th at the Shrine, when the winners are announced. Here’s an interesting point to make – and you can bet pundits will because we always do: Only two movies have gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar without at least being nominated for SAG Outstanding Cast: Braveheart in 1995 and last year’s The Shape of Water, which many thought at the time spelled doom for Guillermo del Toro’s unique love story but obviously didn’t. For a few minutes the year before, we also thought La La Land had broken the SAG un-nominated Cast curse, but you know what happened there. Consider the fact that such presumed Oscar favorites as Green Book, The Favourite, Vice, Mary Poppins Returns, Roma and If Beale Street Could Talk are among those missing in action in the Cast category, and it certainly adds intrigue to the race.
Logan Hill, veteran New York Times contributor, hosts an advance screening of the all-new original musical “Mary Poppins Returns,” followed by a conversation with Academy Award-nominated director Rob Marshall and Academy Award-nominated stars Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. In this sequel to the beloved Disney classic, Mary Poppins returns to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – “Everybody’s walking around with their cheeks a little pinker, and you just know that everybody…they’ve got a secret. They’ve got something really good under wraps until Christmas.”
That’s the picture Meryl Streep paints for EW of the set of Mary Poppins Returns, Disney’s high-stakes, high-magic sequel to the 1964 musical classic. Any number of elements from the original film — its indelible songs by Richard and Robert Sherman, its career-making performances by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, its significant strides in animated penguin awareness — have amounted to Mary Poppins being nothing less than a crown jewel for Disney for more than five decades. So it’s only natural that all eyes are now on the people entrusted with bringing Mary Poppins back to audiences this December — and as EW learned spending time with them for this week’s cover, the cast and filmmakers behind Mary Poppins Returns feel they’re sitting on a movie with more than a little shine of its own.
Sharing the cover of EW’s Holiday Preview, Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda sat down for a conversation about the biggest movie of their careers (and perhaps the most ambitious sequel of the year that doesn’t involve an Avenger). Blunt, 35, was director Rob Marshall’s first choice to inherit the role of magical nanny Mary Poppins — and Julie Andrews gave her approval as well — yet for Blunt, stepping into the iconic part required a stiff upper lip. “I did, going into this, [hear] the preamble of everyone turning to me — including a friend of mine who said, ‘You’ve got balls of steel’ — and I would just try to allow all of that to be white noise and really approach her as I would any other character,” recalls Blunt, who first began collaborating with Marshall on 2014’s Into the Woods. “The beauty of Rob is that he kept it intimate enough so that you don’t feel the bigness too much. We just focused on this story and these people and this moment.”
But Blunt allowed the gravity of Mary Poppins to seep in every once in a while, like when Dick Van Dyke came to set and serenaded her with “Jolly Holiday” between takes…or when she revisited the original film after wrapping (“I showed my oldest daughter and it was this incredible two-pronged emotion because I thought, ‘Thank God I didn’t watch this before I did the movie’”)…or when she visited Miranda backstage at Hamilton in 2015 — her third time doing so, yet the first since they had both signed on to the film. “The whole project was cloaked in a sense of protection, and by that time it had sunk in that it was happening,” she recalls. “It was becoming so deep in my bones that I was going to be doing this, and that first overwhelming rush of thrill and fear when I got offered this role had diluted to something quite real… and so I think it was exciting knowing that Lin and I were going to be playing cohorts and kindred spirits.” Miranda remembers that night just a bit differently: “That was a really stressful show,” he laughs. “I felt like I was auditioning for Mary Poppins, the person.”
After confirmation of her cover for the magazine several months back, we finally have our first look at Emily’s Vogue shoot for the December issue. Co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda also features in the editorial, which shows both in character for the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns. I really love these photos, and hopefully we’ll see at least a few more in the coming weeks! I’ve added an except of the article below, but you can view the full story here.
VOGUE – PRECISELY WHAT IS MARY POPPINS? We know her to be a humanoid who does not age, is capable of telekinesis, is not constricted by the ordinary bounds of time, space, and gravity, and flies through the air with the aid of an umbrella, albeit in upright, duck-footed fashion. She is stern, fastidious, and speaks with a posh accent, but enjoys vaguely romantic relationships with common laborers. She is beloved by children and former children the world over, yet is, when contemplated at an intellectual distance, utterly unknowable, even bizarre.
“She’s a superhero,” says Emily Blunt without hesitation. “You could say she’s some sort of angel. She recognizes what people need, and she gives it to them, yet they discover something about themselves in the process.” With a rather Mary Poppins–like firmness, Blunt concludes, “I don’t think she concerns herself with what she is. There’s nobody else like her—which she quite likes.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES – The star and director of “Mary Poppins Returns” sit close together on a settee in a hotel suite high above Central Park, thick as thieves, and suddenly they’re not Emily Blunt, Golden Globe-winning actress, and Rob Marshall, Hollywood’s Oscar-nominated go-to musical man.
It’s the “Em and Robbie” show.
There’s an exceedingly warm mutual admiration and a shorthand between the pair after two films together, a rapport that first sparked years ago over lunch for a project that didn’t pan out and blossomed when Blunt starred as the plucky baker’s wife in Marshall’s 2014 hit adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”
Marshall calls Blunt an old soul and “my favorite actress.” She vows to lure him and his partner, John DeLuca, out of Manhattan and “convert them to Brooky-Brooks” — meaning Brooklyn, where she lives with husband John Krasinski.
The two are creatively simpatico, they say, which is a big part of how they found the confidence to attempt something as wildly ambitious as reviving one of the most beloved characters in cinematic history. Also, Marshall adds, it helps that they both like martinis.
Still, Blunt admits, she was surprised and terrified when Marshall called her one day after the success of “Into the Woods” to propose teaming up on a new project he wanted to make with Disney.
“He said, ‘By far their most prized possession is Mary Poppins,’ and I remember my hair blowing back from thrill and vague panic,” Blunt said with a laugh. But she said yes immediately, and the massive undertaking began.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s Jungle Cruise is sailing into a later release date. The Disney film will now open in the heart of summer movie season on July 24, 2020.
The film previously had been scheduled for Oct. 10, 2019. Jungle Cruise is the only project with a title set for that date, though Warner Bros. has an untitled DC film and Sony has an untitled animated franchise movie currently slotted in that spot.
The Shallows filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra is helming Jungle Cruise, which is set in the early 20th century and takes place in the Amazon jungle. Johnson stars as a boat captain who takes a sister (Blunt) and brother (Jack Whitehall) on a journey to find a tree believed to have healing powers. Along the way, they must deal with wild animals and a competing German expedition. Paul Giamatti is also starring.
Beau Flynn, John Davis and John Fox are producing, as are Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia. Scott Sheldon is co-producing.
“Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages. My partner in crime, Emily Blunt and I, lovingly invite you to join us for THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME. All aboard,” Johnson tweeted Friday. Jungle Cruise wrapped filming in September.
Disney also undated an untitled Marvel movie, unsetting it from July 31, 2020. Little is known about Marvel Studios’ plans beyond next summer’s Avengers 4 and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Before he was fired as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn had said that film would open in 2020, and there had been speculation the film would open in that date or a May 1, 2020 slot, however, Marvel Studios never officially dated the film.