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(Photo: Getty Images for Disney)

Julie Andrews may have given Emily Blunt her seal of approval, but another person will be on Emily’s mind when Mary Poppins Returns, the much-anticipated follow-up to the 1964 kids’ classic, opens in theaters later this year.

In an interview published yesterday (January 2), Blunt, who plays the umbrella-wielding, practically perfect nanny Mary Poppins, told Vanity Fair that the opinion she’s most worried about is that of her three-year-old daughter Hazel.

“She is besotted with this movie,” Emily says, “to the point where I have a deep dread she is simply going to reject my version and be, like, ‘You are not Mary Poppins,’ because she is so in love with Julie Andrews and she knows every single song…”

Of course, Hazel’s not the only one. The original film is a firm favorite for many people, which made news that a sequel was in production a full 54 years later more than a little unsettling.

Photos from the set last year put our fears to rest, however, as Emily was pictured dancing with lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and meeting the grown-up Banks children (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer) in scenes that look every bit as cosy and heartwarming as the original.

Emily admits the new film will nevertheless represent a departure — not least for the iconic central character. Having returned to Cherry Tree Lane 25 years after the events of the original movie, Mary is now “a bit more eccentric and frickin’ weird” than the version played by her predecessor.

“She is incredibly rude, vain, and batty,” Emily explains. “She really made me laugh.”

Rude? And weird? Okay, so the magical nanny always had an acerbic side, but it sounds like the new movie takes this one step further.

And if you’re having trouble imagining this new version of Mary, then this clip of 1940 screwball comedy His Girl Friday should give you some idea. According to Emily, the wisecracking reporter played by Rosalind Russell was her cue for playing the role:

Mary Poppins Returns is due to open in theaters on December 25, 2018.

Are you ready for an even more eccentric Mary Poppins?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.