Our cynicism about Disney’s Mary Poppins sequel has finally been crushed today, as 91-year old Dick Van Dyke- star of the original musical- has confirmed he will appear, alongside Bedknobs & Broomsticks‘ Angela Lansbury!
In perhaps the most spellbinding bit of movie news this year, Van Dyke (chimney-sweep Bert in Robert Stevenson’s Mary Poppins) has told THR that he will appear in Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns (due Christmas 2018) as the son of Mr. Dawes, the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank manager he also played in the first film. “I’ll be going to London in the spring to do my role,” he said, “and I get to do a little song-and-dance number. I gotta be a part of it.”
“This one 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 from Hamilton.” This is the first we’ve heard of Lansbury’s involvement– she of course starred in Poppins‘ spiritual sequel, Stevenson’s 1971 musical Bedknobs & Broomsticks, as the Poppins-esque witch Eglantine Price.
Mary Poppins Returns will star Emily Blunt as Mary, with Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Lin-Manuel Miranda. It will feature original songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (but, with Van Dyke now involved, we’d be surprised if Richard Sherman didn’t have some input).
When this film was first announced, we declared it sacrilege to sequelise such a masterpiece as Poppins. But, so far, Disney and Rob Marshall have done everything right. We’re finally a little bit excited.