John Krasinski Talks Emily Blunt’s ‘Mary Poppins’ Prep Work

Months ago, it was announced that Emily Blunt would be taking on the role of Mary Poppins, a role that Julie Andrews made famous in 1967.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Emily Blunt’s husband, actor-director John Krasinski, who is currently promoting his new film The Hollars, told the outlet that his famous wife, who just had their second daughter, Violet, is back to work on early rehearsals for the Mary Poppins remake.

That said, don’t expect Krasinski to leak any details about the process. The Office actor says that his wife has never sung in front of him, and it took a trip to the rehearsals for the 2014 musical movie Into The Woods before he was able to hear what Emily’s singing voice sounded like. He recounted what it felt like to walk into that rehearsal space, after being kept at arm’s length due to Blunt’s hesitance to sing in front of him.

“I came to visit and they were doing the pre-records on Into The Woods, and I remember [director] Rob Marshall turning to me and he said, ‘It’s so great,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve never seen her sing.’ Rob Marshall did the slowest double take of all time and then queued a 125-piece orchestra and she started singing and I just wept. I told you that I am a crier, it doesn’t take much.”

We learned that Emily Blunt’s version of Mary Poppins will be based off of the books by P.L. Travers, and not the musical version that everyone is familiar with. In fact, the plot takes places 20 years after the Julie Andrews version, featuring the two children, Jane and Michael Banks, as adults. In this new film, Michael has children of his own, and Mary Poppins will find her way back into a nannying position after a tragedy.

With spare details on the plot, many have wondered if the film, based on the books, will be as crazy as Travers’ original stories. Mary Poppins was softened for the original film, but in the original work, she’s a bit edgier than the Mary Poppins we’re used to seeing.

The Telegraph highlights one oddity that may or may not make it into the Mary Poppins sequel — fish that capture humans.

“Jane and Michael fall through a conch shell into an undersea kingdom filled with talking fish in ‘Mary Poppins Opens the Door.’ Everything starts off innocently enough, and they get invited to a fishy garden party. But the first sign that all is not well comes with the strict enforcement of a ‘no whales’ door policy. Soon it transpires that the the fish themselves enjoy a bit of fishing — and they like to catch humans, luring them with bait of strawberry tarts and keeping them trapped underwater. The fish enjoy watching them wriggle.”

Since Michael and Jane will be adults, maybe some of what Travers wrote about will be transferred to Michael’s three children, since they’re sighted in the loose plot. Although we don’t know what Disney will choose to focus on with this adaptation, there’s a few exciting casting tidbits. Ben Whishaw is in talks to join the film as adult Michael. As of right now, we don’t know who will play the role of Jane, but there’s a few big names attached other than Blunt.

Lin Manuel-Miranda, who’s known for Broadway hits Hamilton and In The Heights, will play a street lamplighter named Jack. In addition to the star power of Miranda and Blunt, Variety recently reported that none other than Meryl Streep has decided to join the cast.

Streep, who shared the screen with Blunt in Into The Woods and The Devil Wears Prada, will play Mary Poppins’ cousin Topsy. The character of Topsy wasn’t included in the Julie Andrews version, but is said to be an eccentric character.

[Photo by Disney]