Mary Poppins Returns was officially announced by Disney Tuesday afternoon, with stars Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, both long rumored for roles in the sequel, also made official. The film will hit theaters December 25, 2018, a sequel that at time of release will be 54 years in the making.
Director Rob Marshall returns to Disney after directing the movie musical Into the Woods for the studio. He'll direct a screenplay by David Magee based on Mary Poppins stories by P.L. Travers, with Tony winner Marc Shaiman composing a score and writing original songs with fellow Tony winner Scott Wittman.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, also a Tony winner and Pulitzer Prize winner for Hamilton, the biggest Broadway sensation of the moment, will star as a new character, a lamplighter named Jack. Emily Blunt will play the titular role of Mary Poppins in the film, which draws from the additional novels by Travers. The story, in Depression-era London, meets the adult versions of the original children, Jane and Michael Banks, and Michael's three children who witness the return of Mary Poppins after "a personal loss." Poppins and her friend Jack "help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives."
"I am truly humbled and honored to be asked by Disney to bring P.L. Travers' further adventures to the screen. The iconic original film means so much to me personally, and I look forward to creating an original movie musical that can bring Mary Poppins, and her message that childlike wonder can be found in even the most challenging of times, to a whole new generation," says Marshall in a press release.
The original 1964 film Mary Poppins adapted Travers' first book of the same name, written in 1934. The movie won five Academy Awards including Julie Andrews' Best Actress win.