Good news, Firth fans! The painfully British star has been cast in the upcoming Mary Poppins sequel, playing none other than William Weatherall Wilkins, the president of the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. A bank so important it even has it's own song:
Colin is joining a star-studded cast and will work alongside Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and Lin-Manuel Miranda in the followup to the 1964 movie classic. We join the cast many years later during the Depression of England, when both Michael and Jane have grown up and had children of their own.
Now, due to the fact England at the time was facing the collapse of the pound, we can safely assume that Firth's character will be struggling at work trying to keep things afloat, which leads me to believe he may not be the good guy. As the President of the Bank during such a financial crises he may well be striking up dodgy deals or even embezzling, like as the ever-British Firth would probably say, a true banker wanker.
No, I hear you cry out, Colin is the good guy and a fine upstanding citizen. However, what if I were to say to you that Firth plays one hell of a villain? It's a truth universally acknowledged that this Oscar-winning actor playing the good guy leaves women swooning in the aisle. What's less known is that when he plays nasty, it's just as fun to watch. The Bridget Jones star doesn't play evil often, but when he does it's bloody brilliant. Therefore, I've collated a list of examples of all the time Mr Darcy was the perfect baddie. Go on, come and join the dark side:
1. Lord Wessex In Shakespeare In Love
Colin's role in the 1998 movie was the ultimate deceitful aristocrat. Lord Wessex traps Viola in a loveless marriage, has the poor and wrongly accused Christopher Marlow murdered and threatens to kill Shakespeare numerous times. Firth plays a passionless bore, who's only goal is riches and maintaining his social standing. He pales in comparison to the poetic and romantic playwright and this makes him vengeful and bitter. Colin serves us Elizabethan villain perfectly throughout, and we can only hope he brings some of this snobbery to his role in Mary Poppins Returns.
2. Lord Henry Wotton In Dorian Grey
As with any piece of Oscar Wilde's work, the lines between good and evil are always blurred. Lord Henry may not be the titular villain, but his seduction of the young Dorian into the world of excess is by no means decent. Colin plays the dastardly gent with conviction and intent. Wotton's involvement in a society with loose morals and decadence shows the darker side to the upper classes. Admittedly, it's all a little bit sexy.
Here's hoping the President of the bank in the upcoming Disney movie has as much charm and corruption as Henry Wotton.
3. Valmont In Valmont
Here we have a very young Firth in the 1989 adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuse, the incredibly bawdy French novel. Colin plays Valmont the seductive and beastly Viscount, who takes great pleasure in destroying the lives of those around him using only his wit and sexual prowess.
Arguably, we won't see Mr Darcy luring characters into bed in Mary Poppins, I mean it's still a Disney after all, but I reckon he could show the magical nanny a ruddy good time. Oh Colin, you can unlace my corset and pluck my harp any day of the week!
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4. The Master In The Turn Of The Screw
There's definitely a theme going on with the villains Colin plays. They are all usually wealthy, seducing and calculating men, who have no desire to truly love or care for others, and by George, doesn't he play that role well. The Turn Of The Screw is no different, the BBC adaptation saw Firth take the part of the Master, a rich man who hires a governess to care for his adopted children that he can't bear to be around. The Master seduces the young nanny into taking the post all the while knowing the dark secret that haunts the children and their previous minders.
I can't imagine the President of the Mary Poppins bank will care for children, instead caring only for money and power. Perhaps he shall clash with the flying nanny in the sequel?
5. Geoffrey Thwaites In St Trinian's
Colin serves up some serious nasty political vibes in this remake of the Belles Of St Trinian's. Geoffrey is actively trying to close down the school and will do whatever he can to ensure its demise, even sneaking into the girls's dorms. Naughty Colin. This is a very pantomime portrayal of a villain, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. It's difficult not to enjoy the Pride and Prejudice references and how easily Thwaites is seduced by Miss Fritton a.k.a. Rupert Everett in drag.
I can definitely see William Weatherall Wilkins being this type of man and needing a little bit of magic in his life to change his ways.
6. Vince Collins In Where The Truth Lies
In this 2005 movie, we get a rare glimpse of Colin playing a very complex and taboo role. Vince is a washed-up comedian with a dark past as he is being secretly investigated of a murder that happened in his hotel suite, 15 years previous. It's a tale of sexuality, betrayal and drugs that sees Firth's character spiral out of control. The plot twist is wonderful, so I won't spoil that one for you. However, I will say Colin's ability to jump from rage to shame, all the while being exposed and vulnerable is truly mesmerizing to watch. The King's Speech star adds depth to this supposed villain as the viewer begins to work out the mystery.
Homicide, threesomes and cocaine probably aren't going to make it into a Mary Poppins remake, but we hope Colin brings some of his ability to play such developed characters to the movie.
Looking back over Firth's filmography, it's apparent that he plays the posh boy wonderfully well and whether he has us all longing for his kiss or shouting for his death, the British star always gives a great performance. Mary Poppins Returns won't be making its debut until Christmas in 2018, so we'll have to wait to see which team Colin will be batting for. In all honesty, I do hope he's playing the baddie though.