The Disney live-action remake train keeps chugging right along. Considering the admirable box office take of films like THE JUNGLE BOOK and CINDERELLA, it doesn’t seem to be something that will let up soon and, compared to other strains of remakes and franchises, the results have been rather passable. Amongst the hash of the new titles rolling out, the most anticipated one may well be MARY POPPINS RETURNS, a remake-sequel to the 1964 classic, MARY POPPINS, that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.
The reason for this is primarily its cast thus far, which is led by Emily Blunt, who has been a standout performer in some of the last decade’s most memorable action films, including SICARIO, LOOPER, and EDGE OF TOMORROW. She will, of course, be playing the titular magical nanny that rears a pair of troublesome kids, and she will be joined by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical-theater genius behind ‘Hamilton’, who will play a street-lamp lighter named Jack, a new creation for this film.
This casting has already been confirmed, but Disney released a brand new confirmation today, which, thankfully, came packaged with some similarly big news. That would be a proper release date, and MARY POPPINS RETURNS will now be hitting theaters on December 25th, 2018. It’s a perfect release date for such a family-centric movie, and it’s also a familiar time for release for the film’s director, Rob Marshall, who has routinely released Oscar-bait around Christmas time. This most famously happened with CHICAGO, which was released mid-December and went on to rack up big award wins, but then there’s also an out-and-out dud like his take on MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA.
Most recently, he was responsible for the film adaptation of INTO THE WOODS, which turned out much more rewarding than the director’s shallow attempt to turn Fellini’s 8 1/2 into a musical with NINE, one of the few films to star Daniel Day-Lewis which is apparently borderline unwatchable. Here’s hoping that this latest venture will be more in line with CHICAGO and INTO THE WOODS.