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‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Reveals Plot Details, Full Cast as Production Begins

Mary Poppins Disney
Walt Disney Pictures

After months of rumormongering and speculating and debating over whether Lin-Manuel Miranda has what it takes to make the jump to the big screen from Broadway, sequel Mary Poppins Returns has finally begun shooting. Disney sent out an official press release announcing that the production was officially underway at Shepperton Studios in England, with a project release date of Christmas Day in 2018. (Nothing gets people in the mood for a movie musical quite like the holidays, it would seem, as director Rob Marshall’s last film, Into the Woods, found a release date in late December as well.) And along with the news that the gears are now turning, the press release provided a full cast list and more comprehensive description of the plot as well.

It was already known that Emily Blunt would portray the nanny of repute, with Miranda stepping in as her trust lamp-lighter pal Jack. We’d previously reported that Emily Mortimer and Colin Firth would join of the cast, and that Dick Van Dyke would trot out his gloriously awful Cockney accent once again in a more minor role. The cast will also collect Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters (the original Mrs. Weasley), and none other than Marshall’s former Into the Woods collaborator Meryl Streep, who will play Mary Poppins’ whimsical cousin Topsy.

The full plot synopsis has been reproduced from the press release below:

Mary Poppins Returns 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 (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), 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 (Streep).

It sounds like wholesome family fun, with a tune in the air and a spring in the step. Here’s hoping Miranda’s boned up on his most penguinesque dance moves.

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