ByTom Chapman, writer at
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Tom Chapman

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down, but it apparently doesn't impress actress when it comes to the acting stakes. Long before Robin Williams became the coolest nanny in town, was singing her way into our hearts, but now 34-year-old Blunt will be opening up her umbrella to fly into cinemas as the titular heroine in . Being released some 54 years after the original film, the idea of a magical housekeeper is being resurrected for Returns by the penny-pinchers — hmmmm, Nanny McPhee anyone?

Putting it Blunt-ly

With Mary Poppins lauded as one of the Disney greats, it doesn't look like Blunt will be turning to 1964's film or the performance of Andrews for some helpful pointers anytime soon. Don't take it too personally, Dame Julie, Blunt is clearly going for a different version of the spit-spot nanny. They may look like doppelgaängers in their roles, but speaking to EW, Blunt revealed that she won't be copying Andrews's acting style. She even tried to watch the original film, but switched it off in favor of a good book:

"I started to watch the film and then decided that wasn't the way that would best serve me trying to come up with something original, so I just read the books and I found so much there. The books quickly became the source for me. I'm one of these people that, when I have an instinct about a character and I find an 'in,' I just go with it. The character jumped off the page and I immediately had an instinct about how to play her, and it's in the direction the books were leading me to go."

First published by P.L. Travers in 1934, the Mary Poppins novels spanned eight books and five decades. While the original film only covered a minuscule amount of the source material, you can see why Blunt might look elsewhere for her muse. However, do you really think that Michael Keaton didn't sit down to watch Adam West as Batman, or Daniel Craig didn't learn a thing or two off Sean Connery? To completely discount the performances that have come before you is a bit of a risky strategy.


No role is irreplaceable (as the likes of Batman and Bond have shown us), but we might be needing the aforementioned spoonful to help us swallow anyone taking over from Andrews. With Mary Poppins Returns, it seems that some of us are rightly coming down with a case of the "whys." Can Disney really pack the seven remaining books into a film and still make it relevant to the tweeting millennials of 2017?

A carbon copy of Andrews would only cause the audience to notice the differences more, so we will have to wait and see how Blunt's performance pans out. According to the interview, her portrayal will be a "meaner" Mary with a dash of Hildy Johnson from His Girl Friday — not quite the pony rides and Van Dyke of the original, is it?

Given the track-record of The Little Mermaid II, Lady and the Tramp II, and Mulan II, Disney has dropped some stinkers with its naive approach to sequels and milking the cash cow. Sure, Mary Poppins Returns may not have the "II" moniker, and we have seen how well the Beauty and the Beast remake did in the live-action stakes, but the jury is still out on this one.

We already know that Andrews won't be appearing, and hopefully nor will that ludicrous notion of Michael Rooker, so it is left to an all-star cast of Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Meryl Streep, and even Dick Van Dyke himself to reimagine giving Mary a jolly holiday for a whole new generation.

Check out the trailer for Mary Poppins and don't forget our poll below!


Do we need 'Mary Poppins Returns' ?

(Source: EW)


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