The longest length of time between an original movie and a theatrical sequel is 49 years, between 1953’s Peter Pan and Return to Never Land. Disney will soon break that record with the just-announced Mary Poppins Returns, a follow-up to the beloved family classic.
Variety first reported in February that Emily Blunt was in talks to star in the sequel and those talks have solidified. Blunt will play the magical nanny originated by Julie Andrews in 1964.
Also confirmed is the casting of Hamilton star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda as a new character named Jack, a street lamplighter. Few details about Jack are known beyond his occupation, but he’ll likely fill the same narrative role as Dick Van Dyke’s chimneysweep Bert in the original movie.
Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) will direct, from a screenplay written by David Magee (Finding Neverland, Life of Pi).
The sequel will take place in Depression-era London, when Poppins visits the now-adult Jane and Michael Banks to help them, and Michael’s three children, recover from a personal loss.
Mary Poppins was nominated for 13 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won six, including Best Actress for Andrews, on its way to earning the modern equivalent of $670-million, when adjusted for inflation. Its turbulent production was depicted in the recent Saving Mr. Banks.
Mary Poppins Returns will float into theatres December 25, 2018.