One of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2018 is Mary Poppins Returns. The Walt Disney Pictures film, which is slated to hit theaters on December 19, stars Emily Blunt as the title character, a role originally made famous 54 years ago by Julie Andrews in the 1964 classic Mary Poppins.
Andrews won multiple awards for her portrayal of the magical nanny, including both an Oscar and a Golden Globe in the best actress category, and a Grammy for Best Recording for Children. In addition, her excellent performance in the musical led to Andrews being cast in many other great roles such as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music and Victoria Grant/Count Victor Grezhinski in Victor/Victoria.
Today, Andrews is 83-years-old and is still working in showbiz. She’ll next be heard in the upcoming DC Extended Universe film Aquaman as the voice of a mythical sea creature named Karathen. The movie opens on December 21.
But fans of the dame really want to know why she is not making a cameo in the long-awaited sequel to one of her most cherished films.
“She immediately said no,” Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall explained when asked if he approached Andrews to be in the movie, according to Variety.
“She said, ‘This is Emily’s show and I want her to run with this. She should run with this. This is hers. I don’t want to be on top of that.'”
As to what role Andrews could have played in the new film, an insider with production knowledge told Variety that she would have fit right in as the balloon lady — a part that eventually went to another British stage and screen legend, Angela Lansbury.
Producer Marc Platt, however, denies there was ever talk of having Andrews make an appearance in Mary Poppins Returns.
“It’s a different story and a different time. There will only be one Julie Andrews and after people see this film they’ll be able to say with equal joy that there’s only one Emily Blunt,” he said.
One familiar face who does make a cameo in the new flick is Dick Van Dyke, who played both Bert and Mr. Dawes, Sr. in the original Mary Poppins. The 92-year-old actor plays Mr. Dawes, Jr. this time around.
Besides Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns — which is expected to gross $70 million during its first week of release alone — also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep.