Next year, one of the most iconic characters in all of cinema is back on the big screen in Disney's highly-anticipated Mary Poppins Returns. We've already seen first look photos of both Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda as the lamplighter Jack, but today we have even more new images, along with behind-the-scenes photos and concept art. We also have more details from director Rob Marshall, who teases how he brought Mary Poppins back to life.
Entertainment Weekly debuted its new cover for this week's print edition, which features Emily Blunt in full costume as Mary Poppins. The site also has new photos featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack, Pixie Davies as Annabel Banks, Joel Dawson as Georgie Banks, Nathanael Saleh as John Banks, Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks and Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks. There are also behind-the-scenes shots with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Blunt, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson and Meryl Streep during a rehearsal session with composer Marc Shaiman, who co-wrote a new score with Scott Wittman, and another shot of director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca. There is also concept art of the iconic street Cherry Hill Lane in the springtime, along with the abandoned London park favored by Jack and the rest of his lamplighter crew. The site also spoke with Rob Marshall, who said he is quite aware of how high expectations for this movie are.
"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."
This sequel is set in the mid 1930s, 25 years after the original movie, which was loosely based on the first two of P.L. Travers' books. Michael Banks has grown up to be a respectable banker and artist, with three children, although the family has fallen on hard times after the sudden death of Michael's wife, and with the Great Depression setting in, the family home is on the verge of foreclosure. While Michael's sister Jane (Emily Mortimer), a "fervent union organizer" and housemaid Ellen (Julie Walters) can't help pull this family out of their troubles, Mary Poppins magically arrives. The title character proceeds to take the family on a number of magical adventures, including to the top of Big Ben, to the midst of the ocean and even a visit with Meryl Streep's Cousin Topsy.
There had been rumors that original Mary Poppins stars Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke were coming back for cameos, with EW confirming that Dick Van Dyke is actually coming back, but not as his original character Bert. However, it was revealed that Lin-Manuel Miranda's character Jack was actually a former apprentice of Bert. The site revealed that the actor was actually on set just one day before they arrived. Here's what Rob Marshall had to say about how Dick Van Dyke reacted to being on this set.
"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.'"
Disney hasn't confirmed when we may see a trailer for Mary Poppins Returns, but don't expect one soon, since this magical adventure isn't slated to hit theaters until Christmas Day 2018. While Julie Andrews' rumored cameo still hasn't been confirmed, this report did reveal that Emily Blunt did in fact get Julie Andrews' blessing to take over this iconic role. Take a look at the new EW cover, along with new photos, behind-the-scenes images and concept art below.