Considering just how iconic and popular the original Mary Poppins still is 54 years after it originally hit cinemas in 1964, there’s going to be an awful lot of pressure on its impending sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, to do it justice. This is something that its director Rob Marshall is more than aware of. However, he has also insisted that the allure of stepping into the world and playing with the character was just too much to turn down.
“The bar is so high for this. But to be able to walk in the footsteps of this beautiful story about a woman who brings magic to this family that’s looking for wonder and hope and joy in their lives… I feel a great responsibility and reverence every day. We all feel it. We’re just lifting it up to get there with the right intentions behind it.”
However, during the production of the musical, Rob Marshall was able to get some words of encouragement from a pretty solid source as Dick Van Dyke, who portrayed Bert the chimney sweep in the original, insisted that the mood and spirit on set was just as uplifting and positive as it was over 54 years ago.
“Dick Van Dyke said that the thing he remembers the most about doing the original film was the spirit, and he said, ‘It’s exactly the same spirit here,’ He was right here on Cherry Tree Lane and he said, ‘I feel like I’m home.'”
With the release of Mary Poppins Returns still over 18 months away, it’s still way too early for moviegoers to know if the film will actually be able to match, or even eclipse, its illustrious predecessor. However, the release of the very first images for Mary Poppins Returns has given the biggest indication yet that it might actually be capable of doing just that. That’s because they are utterly magical.
The images come courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, and the first of them shows us Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins, Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Jack, and the three children of Ben Whishaw’s Michael Banks jumping off the side of a wall and into what’s likely to be a wonderful adventure.
We also get to see the mercurial Lin Manuel-Miranda in action as his character, too. And from the looks of things, he’ll be the all-singing and all-dancing delight that has turned the Hamilton playwright and actor into such a beloved figure. The eagle-eyed of you out there will also be able to spot Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins doing her own bit of dancing along to Miranda’s Jack in the bottom right of the image, too.
Entertainment Weekly’s exclusive images also gave moviegoers their very first look at Ben Whishaw’s Michael Banks and Emily Mortimer’s Jane Banks, too, who are the grown-up versions of the children from the original Mary Poppins that were played by Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice.
There was also a look at Cherry Lane, which is the street that the Banks family calls home. Since Mary Poppins Returns is set in 1935, you can see that director Rob Marshall and his cast and crew have meticulously made sure that it matches its period setting.
However, the most jaw-dropping image of the whole collection is of Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, as her dainty smile immediately feels warm and inviting, and she looks just perfect as the character.
Emily Blunt also spoke to Entertainment Weekly and opened up about portraying the icon. While there’s inevitably going to be some nerves, she feels as though her version of Mary Poppins and the film itself will ultimately be able to stand apart from the original.
“I hope what we’re doing, and it certainly feels this way to me, is beautiful and profound and will be able to stand alone from the original.”
We’ll be able to see if Mary Poppins Returns can do just that when it is finally released on December 25, 2018.
[Featured Image by Disney]