Disney has added another Emily to the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, their upcoming sequel to the classic 1964 film.
While Girl on a Train‘s Emily Blunt has the unenviable task of stepping into Julie Andrews‘ shoes as the titular nanny, Variety is reporting that Shutter Island star Emily Mortimer will play her former charge Jane Banks.
And no, she’s not going to be forcing herself into a child’s pinafore and wearing pulled-up socks and a boater like the original Jane, played by eight-year-old Karen Doltrice.
The sequel takes place 20 years after the original, meaning Jane and her little brother Michael (played, as we revealed a couple of months ago, by Ben Whishaw) have grown up, had children of their own, and, like all of us from time to time, need a little help re-discovering the joy in life.
Their names are the latest addition to a magical cast that includes Lin-Manuel Miranda as a street lamplighter by the name of Jack (a nod, surely, to Dick Van Dyke‘s cock-er-ney chimneysweep Bert), and Meryl Streep as Mary’s cousin Topsy.
Just us, or does this all sound too good to be true? It’s fair to say audiences can feel a certain, let’s say, trepidation when studios start messing with a classic, especially such a beloved one.
Take comfort, though: This isn’t a reboot, a rehash, or a remake. It’s based on material from follow-up novels by Mary Poppins’ formidable creator P.L. Travers, played so memorably in Saving Mr. Banks by Emma Thompson. It’ll also see the action return to 1930s London, when the books were originally set, although Walt Disney chose to set the film version in 1910.
So, the signs are looking good.
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