Earlier this week, Entertainment Weekly revealed new photos from the highly-anticipated Mary Poppins sequel entitled Mary Poppins Returns. That report also confirmed a rumor that original Mary Poppins star Dick Van Dyke will make a cameo appearance, but not as his original character Bert. However, that report didn't mention anything about the original Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews, returning to put in an appearance. But director Rob Marshall has now confirmed that Julie Andrews won't appear in Mary Poppins 2, although she does fully support the project.

Director Rob Marshall was best known for his work as a director and choreographer on Broadway before making his feature directorial debut with the Best Picture-winning musical Chicago. In 1995, he had actually choreographed Julie Andrews in the Broadway play Victor/Victoria, and had remained close friends with the actress ever since. Entertainment Weekly reports that the director and producer John DeLuca approached Julie Andrews about Mary Poppins Returns at a Christmas party a few years ago, where he revealed that the movie was happening. Here's what the director had to say about Julie Andrews' response to Mary Poppins Returns moving forward.

"She had known it was in the works, then we said, 'We're doing it,' and she said, 'Oh, thank God.' Then we said, 'And we're thinking of Emily Blunt,' and she just threw her hands up in the air and said yes. I think a lot of people feel that way about Emily's work. Julie will always be, for me and for everybody, the most astonishing performance as Mary Poppins, winning the Oscar and bursting onto the scene so brilliantly. But Emily is the perfect person to carry the torch, and I know Julie feels the exact same way. She loves her."

The director added that Julie Andrews is "one thousand percent" in support of the movie, which is one of the reasons why she didn't want to return for a cameo. Rob Marshall revealed that Julie Andrews made it clear early on that she didn't want to make a cameo, because she didn't want to take anything away from Emily Blunt's performance as Mary Poppins. Here's what the director had to say below.

"Julie was incredibly gracious, and we talked about it in a very general way but she made it clear right up front. She said, 'This is Emily's show, and I really want it to be Emily's show. I don't want it to be, Oh, here comes that Mary Poppins. I don't want that. I really want her to take this and run with it, because she will be brilliant.' She said it's time and she said, 'I know it'll be cared for.' And that's the thing I think about every day when I'm at work. We all do."

Emily Blunt will be joined by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays the lamplighter Jack, with the report from yesterday revealing that Jack was actually an apprentice of Dick Van Dyke's character Bert from the original movie. The cast also includes Meryl Streep as Cousin Topsy, Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks, Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks, Pixie Davies as Annabel Banks, Joel Dawson as Georgie Banks, Nathanael Saleh as John Banks. Disney has set a December 25, 2018 release date for Mary Poppins Returns, which will go up against 20th Century Fox's Bohemian Rhapsody and an untitled Warner Bros. event film.

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