It's been over fifty years since Disney's timeless classic Mary Poppins first hit theater screens way back in 1964. But that isn't stopping the studio from creating what could be a very magical sequel all these years later. Though Emily Blunt will take over the iconic role of the magical nanny in Mary Poppins Returns, the original Mary is reportedly returning along with her better half.
Yes, that's right! Apparently Disney is set on reuniting original stars Julie Andrews, who played the title character, and Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert, the always chipper chimney sweep, in this rollicking musical follow-up. Rob Marshall is already set to direct the sequel, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is co-starring in the movie after a powerful and very lucrative turn on Broadway in his award-winning Hamilton stage play.
At this moment in time, details about Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke's new characters are being kept under wraps. And it isn't known how large or small their roles will be. A rep for Andrews tells E! Online that there have been 'no discussions' about the actress coming back to the franchise. But that all may be a ruse so that Disney can properly announced the pair's triumphant return at a later date.
The original 1964 Mary Poppins won 5 Academy Awards, including an Oscar for best actress in a leading role for Julie Andrews. And though her reps might deny it now, it makes sense why the actress-turned-children's author would want to return to this magical world. While Emily Blunt is confirmed to be playing Mary Poppins, Lin-Manuel Miranda isn't playing Bert. Instead, he is playing new character Jack, a lamplighter. Which means, perhaps, though he is much older now, Dick Van Dyke could reprise his role as Bert, if audiences are willing to accept a much older version in a story that takes place not long after the events seen in the original film. This being Disney, it's also possible that de-aging technology could be used on Dick Van Dyke, as seen in Ant-Man with Michael Douglas and Captain America: Civil War with Robert Downey Jr.
Back in June, E! Online caught up with Miranda at the Tony Awards. At that time, he claimed he didn't know whether or not Julie Andrews would be returning for this sequel. He did say the script was still being worked on. He also said that he'd heard some of the new songs being crafted for the movie, which he calls 'amazing'.
Earlier in the week, it was confirmed that Meryl Streep had joined the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, and will be singing in the movie. She will play Mary Poppin's cousin by marriage Topsy Turvey, who did not appear in the original movie but is a part of the original P.L. Travers' books upon which this fantasy franchise is based. Mary Poppins will return to theaters in time for Christmas 2018.