One of the biggest film stories of 2016 was Disney’s surprise decision to make a follow-up to the beloved live-action classic Mary Poppins (1964).
Despite the long gap between that film and its planned sequel Mary Poppins Returns, Disney have already put together a talented cast with British actress Emily Blunt (Sicario, Into the Woods, The Girl on the Train) taking on the iconic role of magical nanny Mary Poppins.
But fans of the original will be pleased to know that one its much-loved stars will be stepping back into the shoes of their respective character. At the grand age of 91, Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Diagnosis Murder) will be reprising the role of charismatic chimney sweeper Bert.
The veteran comedian actor confirmed his return to The Hollywood Reporter and also revealed that fellow acting legend Angela Lansbury (Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Murder She Wrote, Beauty and the Beast) would be appearing as well.
“[The sequel] supposedly takes place 20 years later and the kids are all grown up…It’s a great cast — Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury and that guy [Lin-Manuel Miranda] from Hamilton.”
Van Dyke, Lansbury and Blunt are joined in the sequel by three-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice, The Iron Lady, Florence Foster Jenkins) as well as Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Bridget Jones trilogy), Ben Whishaw (Paddington, Spectre), Emily Mortimer (Harry Brown, The Newsroom) and Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda (The Odd Life of Timothy Green). Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) is the man sitting on the director’s chair.
While all this is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious news, it is not yet known whether leading actress Julie Andrews will be back as the original Mary though we can only hope and pray.
Mary Poppins Returns will begin filming in London in early 2017 with the release confirmed for Christmas Day 2018.
In the meantime, you can relive Van Dyke’s diverse performance as Bert below: