Already pretty much guaranteed to be a major contender in next year’s Oscar race along with “August: Osage County” with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, “Saving Mr. Banks” continues to add to its cast with a trio of actors joining Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell.
Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and Ruth Wilson are now on board the John Lee Hancock flick, which tackles Disney‘s “Mary Poppins” from a unique angle. Penned by Kelly Marcel, the film will tell the tale of how Walt Disney persuaded Australian author P.L. Travers to give him the rights to her most famous creation, magical nanny “Mary Poppins.” Travers had been reluctant to sell the film rights, due to her personal connection to her creation, but Disney eventually won her over. However, she hated the film, and in particular the animated sequences, and Disney and Travers became estranged. Hanks is set to play Walt with Thompson as Travers, while Farrell will play her father (presumably in flashback) who died when she was seven years old and inspired the character of Mr. Banks in “Mary Poppins.”
As for the new additions? Schwartzman perhaps has the most intriguing role, taking the part of famed mouse house songwriter Richard Morton Sherman who wrote some of the most memorable tunes in the studio’s history for films like “The Jungle Book,” “Winnie the Pooh,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and yes, “Mary Poppins.” Giamatti will play Travers’ chauffeur, while Wilson will play Travers’ wife in flashbacks. Of course, Giamatti and Schwartzman are familiar faces, and Wilson is getting ready to break out soon. The “Luther” actress featured on our recent list of 10 Actresses Poised For The Big Time and she has the female lead in next year’s “The Lone Ranger.”
So far, so good, although no word yet on when this will start lensing, but presumably, it’s quite soon. [Variety]