MARY POPPINS RETURNS To Star Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda September 2, 2016 It has been announced that Emily Blunt (‘Girl on the Train,’ ‘Sicario,’ ‘Edge of Tomorrow’) and Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of Broadway hit Hamilton, are set to co-star in Disney’s’ Mary Poppins Returns,’ the sequel to the studio’s 1964 classic, ‘Mary Poppins.’ Rob Marshall (‘Into The Woods,’ ‘Chicago’) is attached to direct the film, with Blunt taking on the title role of Mary Poppins, while Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Meryl Streep, who worked with Blunt and Marshall on ‘Into The Woods,’ is lined up to play Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. British actor Ben Whishaw (‘Skyfall,’ ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’) is on board to play the grown-up Michael Banks (portrayed by Matthew Garber in the original). “I am truly humbled and honoured to be asked by Disney to bring P.L. Travers’ further adventures to the screen,” said Marshall in a statement. “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.” ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Finding Neverland’ scribe David Magee is providing the script. with Tony winner Marc Shaiman composing the score and writing original songs with fellow Tony winner Scott Wittman. MARY POPPINS RETURNS will be released December 25, 2018.