When it was first announced that Emily Blunt had taken on the iconic role of Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns - played to Oscar-winning perfection by Julie Andrews in 1964 - it was a sad day for some fans who, for so many years, wished for the return of the original magical nanny. Being that both Andrews and co-star Dick Van Dyke are both well into their golden years, it seems only natural that others should take their place in a new movie set for a new generation. But has Disney decided to include the original stars after all? According to a new report from E! Online, negotiations might just be underway to make it happen.
The sequel is set to follow the original film twenty years later, in a Depression-era London. Mary Poppins returns to help the now grown-up Jane and Michael Banks find joy in their lives in the wake of a terrible tragedy. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Oscar winner Meryl Streep are set to join Emily Blunt in the film. Miranda will portray a lamp lighter named Jack and Streep is in talks to portray Poppins' cousin Topsy.
So, Cameos? Or Something Far More Worthwhile?
Given the premise of the new film, it doesn't appear that either Julie Andrews or Dick Van Dyke will be reprising their roles from the original film. Andrews' reps have denied on previous occasions that she - and Van Dyke - would be involved in the new film at all. But, being that these negotiations are fresh, it would stand to reason Disney wants to keep this under wraps until an official deal can be reached to snag both actors, even if they're only set to make cameos in the new film.
However, Disney really needs to tread carefully here. Remakes and reboots, especially nowadays, should always walk carefully on reception's thin ice. If Andrews and Van Dyke are joining the film in a capacity larger than cameo appearances, the studio needs to learn where crossing the line and just enough, can meet in a place that feels satisfying for the many generations who grew up with the story and those who may be witnessing it for the very first time.
For Reboots, Never Take Anything or Anyone For Granted
Sony's Ghostbusters reboot attempted to do the same with their 2016 relaunch by including the majority of the original cast in either quick cameo roles or incredibly small supporting efforts. But even they weren't enough to save the film from the ludicrous amount of online fan hate that eventually led to what appears to be a 70 million dollar loss. A loss that effectively squashed any notions of further sequels - at least in a live-action capacity.
To be honest though, we are talking about two completely different generations here. The group that the original Mary Poppins was made for isn't exactly the target demographic Disney looks to nowadays, though they should never be forgotten. And where Sony has failed, Disney has proven to triumph again and again and again. Reboots are kind of what they do now. I wouldn't at all surprised if Mary Poppins Returns turns out to be just as successful as The Jungle Book and Pete's Dragon.
Now if they could only get that Enchanted sequel back on track...
Look for Mary Poppins Returns - and Julie Andrews - when the film hits theaters just in time for Christmas 2018.
Should Disney stick to cameos or something more? Sound off in the comments section!