Meryl Streep has joined the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, reports the Guardian. When Disney first issued press releases that the studio was creating a sequel to the 1964 award-winning classic, fans were skeptical of the new project. With news that Streep will be working alongside Emily Blunt and Hamilton’s Lin Manuel-Miranda, the new film sounds like it could be shaping up to become practically perfect after all.
Meryl will be playing the role of Topsy Tartlet, a maid featured in P.L. Traver’s Mary Poppins Comes Back. Topsy is also Poppin’s cousin by marriage who married Arthur Turvey and later became Topsy Turvy. Blunt has the coveted role of Poppins, made famous by Julie Andrews, and Manuel-Miranda will be taking the role of Jack, a street lamplighter.
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Mary Poppins Returns is said to take place in 1930’s London where Poppins comes back to help Michael Banks (the boy featured in the original film) with his own children. The sequel will be directed by Rob Marshall, and like the original, it will be a musical with new original songs written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. David Magee, who wrote the script for Finding Neverland, The Life of Pi, and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, has penned the new script.
P.L. Travers wrote her first Mary Poppins book in 1934 and its first sequel, Mary Poppins Comes Back, in 1935. Only a portion of the stories featured in the two books made it into Disney’s movie. As retold in the 2013 movie Saving Mr. Banks with Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, Travers was not a fan of Walt Disney or his treatment of her work. However, she continued writing more adventures of the umbrella-floating nanny with her last, Mary Poppins and the House Next Door, published in 1988, so there is a rich history of the character from which to pull from.
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This will be the third time that Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt have worked together. The pair first appeared in 2006’s The Devil Wears Prada and then again for Disney in the Broadway-inspired Into the Woods, which was also directed by Marshall.
Streep’s first singing role was for 2008’s Mamma Mia, which surprised many fans even if some critics thought her singing was a little weak. She played a rock star in Ricki and the Flash last year, and next month she will portray New York heiress Florence Foster Jenkins, a woman who always wanted to become an opera singer despite the fact that she couldn’t sing, in the film named after the infamous singer.
This week, ABC News reported that Meryl Streep once thought that her career would end at the age of 40. Today at 67 years of age, Meryl has received 11 nominations for her work after she turned 40.
“I remember as I was hovering around 40, I thought each movie would be my last, really. And all the evidence of other 40-year-old women at that time — this is 27 years ago — would lead you to believe it was over.”
“On a certain level you don’t have any choice — you’re unhappy if you’re not doing it, so you’re compelled in a certain way. And if you’re lucky you can keep working.”
Mary Poppins Returns will arrive in theaters on Christmas 2018.
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