Mary Poppins Returns is one of the most eagerly anticipated films currently in production. Of course, because of the success of the original film, which was released all the way back in 1964 and is widely regarded as one of the most popular in all of cinema history, there’s huge expectation on the shoulders of Mary Poppins Returns to at least match its prestigious predecessor.
No one will be feeling this pressure more than Emily Blunt, who has been cast as Mary Poppins. But she has already gained the support of arguably the only person that matters, because Julie Andrews, who previously portrayed Mary Poppins on the big screen, has insisted that Blunt is perfect for the role. Julie Andrews made these comments to ABC News, as she also admitted that she’s a huge fan of Emily Blunt’s previous work as an actress.
“Emily Blunt is going to play Mary Poppins and I am a great fan. She is terrific and a perfect pick.”
Emily Blunt has some huge shoes to fill when it comes to portraying Mary Poppins, as Julie Andrews actually picked up the Academy Award For Best Actress for her portrayal as the iconic nanny. Julie Andrews also provided an update on why Disney decided to make a sequel to Mary Poppins rather than just a remake, as she explained that the studio had plenty of additional stories to choose from because they owned the rights to all of P.L. Travers’ series of books.
“Disney had so many of the Mary Poppins books in their stockpile, in the basement, in the vault. So they thought, ‘Why don’t we also do a second musical using all of that material?’ It’s not a re-creation of the original film. It’s a brand new film.”
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard Julie Andrews eulogize about the casting of Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins. In fact, Emily Blunt previously recalled the story of Julie Andrews learning about Blunt’s casting to Entertainment Weekly, admitting that when she learned that Andrews had told director Rob Marshall that she was ecstatic Blunt was playing the next incarnation of the character a huge weight lifted off her shoulders.
“Rob said he was in the Hamptons, and he saw [Andrews], and he said, ‘It’s top secret, but Emily Blunt’s playing Mary Poppins… And she went, ‘Oh, wonderful!’ I felt like I wanted to cry. It was lovely to get her stamp of approval. That took the edge off it, for sure.”
At the same time, though, Emily Blunt is more than aware that she will have to impress many, many more people than Julie Andrews to be regarded as a success as the character.
The English actress even explained during the same interview that she felt a “little more trepidation” when it came to portraying Mary Poppins than she usually does for films.
“I feel a little more trepidation with this [character] because she’s so emblematic of people’s nostalgia. It’s such an important character in people’s childhood.”
Emily Blunt isn’t alone in feeling the weight of Mary Poppins Returns. That’s because she’s also going to be joined in the film by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who gave a better idea of what his character will go through to Variety.
Michael and Jane Banks have grown up, and they find themselves in their own spot, and Mary Poppins comes back to take care of Michael’s kids. I play a lamplighter named Jack who sort of grew up apprenticing to Bert. So I know if Mary Poppins shows up, it’s gonna get awesome. I perform that function in the movie, of saying: ‘Y’all don’t know about Mary Poppins. When Mary’s around, cool sh– happens.’
[Featured Image by Walt Disney]