Who would not remember Mary Poppins, that delightful British American musical fantasy which wowed the world in 1964. Produced by Walt Disney and directed by Robert Stevenson, the film, loosely based on PL Travers’ book series of the same name, garnered 13 Academy nods, but clinched only five Oscars, one of them for Best Actress. That was Julie Andrews, who played the title role, and went on to storm cinema with her brilliant voice in the 1965 musical, The Sound of Music, and later, in Alfred Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain.
Now, Mary Poppins is all set to pop out of the cans in a brand new version — also to be produced by Disney. This new film will be helmed by Rob Marshall — celebrated for musicals like Chicago (with Richard Gere) and Into The Woods (with Meryl Streep).
It is not yet clear who will essay the magical nanny of the Disney original, but the new movie will unfold in London two decades after Mary Poppins began her adventures with the Banks family. Poppins was a role that was literally immortalised by Andrews.
The 1964 classic — which also starred Dick Van Dyke — told the story of a nanny who came to work in the dysfunctional Banks’ household in a pre-World War I England.
The film was a huge hit, grossing $100 million at the box office.
Disney has been on a re-making spree in recent years turning their classic animated works like Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella into live action hits. The company is now focusing its attention on live action movies. Mary Poppins is the first in this basket.
By Gautaman Bhaskaran