There’s a pleasing wind blowing on Cherry Tree Lane these days, Angela Lansbury has joined the cast of “Mary Poppins Returns,” the all-new sequel to Disney’s 1964 film “Mary Poppins” currently filming at Shepperton Studios. She will feature as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from PL Travers’ series of Mary Poppins children’s books. The film is scheduled for release December 25, 2018.
A five-time Tony Award winner and the recipient of an honorary Academy Award, three Academy Award nominations and bestowed with numerous other accolades, Angela Lansbury’s career encompasses more than 70 years. She is a beloved member of the Disney family and starred in “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and voiced Mrs. Potts in the animated classic “Beauty and the Beast.” Her roles in film, television and theater range from “Gaslight,” “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Death on the Nile” to “Murder, She Wrote,” “Mame,” “Blithe Spirit,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and “Gypsy.”
Directed and produced by Rob Marshall (“Into the Woods,” “Chicago”), “Mary Poppins Returns” stars Emily Blunt (“The Girl on the Train,” “Into the Woods”), Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”), Ben Whishaw (“Spectre”), Emily Mortimer (“Hugo”) and Julie Walters (“Harry Potter” films) with Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”). The film, which introduces three new Banks children, played by Pixie Davies (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”), Nathanael Saleh (“Game of Thrones”) and newcomer Joel Dawson, also features Dick Van Dyke.
The film is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers’ additional seven books. In the story, Michael and Jane are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen, living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack, uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy.
The film is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca (“Chicago”) and Marc Platt (“La La Land”). The screenplay is by David Magee (“Life of Pi”) based on The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers with Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray”) and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”) writing all new songs and Shaiman composing an original score.