Screen legend Dame Angela Lansbury has joined the cast of Disney's highly anticipated Mary Poppins Returns. Production is already underway at Shepperton Studios with Rob Marshall's (Into The Woods) on directing duties and Emily Blunt stepping into the shoes of Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins.
Angela Lansbury hasn't appeared in a Disney film since she voiced Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast back in 1991. Since hanging up her typewriter as supersleuth Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote, Angela Lansbury partly retired, but she's been tempted back over the years with Mr. Popper's Penguins, Nanny McPhee and a remake of Driving Miss Daisey. So, it's certainly high praise for the material that Lansbury is taking a role in Mary Poppins Return.
Drawing their inspiration from the wealth of material from author PL Travers, Mary Poppins Returns is set in the 1930s Depression-era London with the now grown up Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) and his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) in need of another spoonful of sugar.
Naturally, there was a sizable amount of negativity from the online film community when the sequel was first announced last year. The nostalgic love of the character is something Emily Blunt was only too aware of and previously reassured fans that her Mary Poppins won't be an imitation of Julie Andrews performance.
"I feel a little more trepidation with this [character] because she’s so emblematic of people’s nostalgia. It’s such an important character in people’s childhood.
We’re delving into the books a lot more which is a different version of the character, I’ll say that much. She’s a little meaner, yeah."
Also starring Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Colin Firth and living legend Dick Van Dyke, Mary Poppins Returns is due for release December 2018.