If ever there was a set that seemed destined to be driven by a blend of pure joy and music, it is Mary Poppins Returns, which has been building a quite spectacular ensemble. And while he hasn't definitely signed a deal, news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Ben Whishaw (SPECTRE) is in negotiations to join the film.
Rob Marshall (Into The Woods) is wrangling the talents of Emily Blunt (Sicario), Hamilton Tony award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda and, assuming she also takes a role, Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady). David Magee (Finding Neverland) has written the script, which draws on material from author P.L. Travers' other Poppins novels that followed the original. The story this time finds the magical nanny returning to the Banks family in Depression-era London (25 years after the first Poppins film) to find that her charges Jane and Michael Banks have now grown up. Michael has three children of his own, and they all need to re-discover the joy in life.
Whishaw is narrowing down the details to play the grown Michael, who suffers a personal loss and needs the support of his sister and Mary, who teams up with lamplighter friend Jack (Miranda) to help out. The role sounds perfectly suited to Whishaw's ability to bring world weary charm. Marshall should be starting the cameras early next year in London, taking aim at a Christmas Day 2018 release date.