She’s practically perfect from every angle.
Disney has just released a dazzling first look at Mary Poppins Returns, the forthcoming sequel in which the titular nanny is played by the correspondingly magical Emily Blunt. The original follow-up to the cherished 1964 musical will arrive in theaters Dec. 25, 2018.
In this new image, we get just a taste of all the trappings that will help transform Blunt into the legendary caretaker — namely, a stunning peacock-cobalt caped coat and a deep rich bird-adorned red hat, both instantly parallel to but distinctive from what Julie Andrews donned in 1964. Mary Poppins’ boundless carpet bag, on the other hand, has received a complete makeover (though the jury is out on whether its endless contents have changed).
What’s more is that Mary looks to be right back on the edge of Cherry Tree Lane, the famed street where the stern but whimsical nanny first flew into the Banks family’s life years prior — 20, to be practically precise.
Mary Poppins Returns picks up two-and-change decades after the events of the 1964 film, furthering the adventures of Mary Poppins and the Banks children, Jane and Michael, who have long since grown up (they’re played in the film by Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw) but are no less in need of their former minder. The new tale, as penned by screenwriter David Magee, is set in Depression-era London and finds Mary Poppins returning to help the family rediscover joy after Michael suffers a personal loss.
The film pulls from stories within the other seven books of P.L. Travers’ original children’s series. As the Banks children grew, so did their travels with Mary Poppins, who popped in and out of their lives throughout the additional novels along with several other ephemeral characters that will now finally find their way onscreen (like recently-announced Angela Lansbury, who plays a magical balloon vendor).
In addition to Blunt, the principal cast also includes Lin-Manuel Miranda as a musical lamplighter named Jack, Meryl Streep as Mary’s cousin Topsy, Colin Firth as banker William Weatherall Wilkins, Julie Walters as loyal housekeeper Ellen, and a trio of newcomers filling the roles of Michael Banks’ children. Original star Dick Van Dyke will also make a featured appearance in the sequel.
Mary Poppins Returns reunites Blunt with director Rob Marshall, who most recently oversaw both Blunt and Streep in Disney’s film adaptation of Into the Woods in 2014. Marshall has enlisted Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman to compose new music for the film, which will be produced by the director, his partner John DeLuca, and film/stage producer (recently and notably, of La La Land) Marc Platt.