The big question is: Will Julie Andrews be in Mary Poppins Returns? Next to The Sound of Music, there’s probably no other film that is as closely associated with Julie than Walt Disney’s 1964 production of Mary Poppins. Now, of course, we’re getting a new adventure of the magical nanny in the form of Mary Poppins Returns, with Emily Blunt taking on the role originated by the screen legend, but Julie — who everyone assumed would be making a cameo appearance — will be nowhere to be seen in the new film.
Director Rob Marshall explains to Entertainment Weekly, “[Julie] had known it was in the works, then we said, ‘We’re doing it,’ and she said, ‘Oh, thank God.’ Then we said, ‘And we’re thinking of Emily Blunt,’ and she just threw her hands up in the air and said, ‘Yes!’ I think a lot of people feel that way about Emily’s work.”
For her part, Emily detailed to Variety, “She was very hands-off with the whole thing. There was discussion that maybe she would come and do a bit in the movie, and she was so generous, actually. She said to Rob, ‘Do you know what this is? This is Emily’s version of her and I don’t want it to be that she’s playing Mary Poppins the whole way through, but then I come in and there’s, like ‘Oh, but there’s the real Mary Poppins.'”
Julie herself expressed to Beyond The Stage, “I admire her enormously. It’s wonderful that she’s the new Poppins. The new movie is not a remake, it’s a brand new film based on all the other stories. I wish her well. I admire her and have met her, and she’s lovely.” She added to Hollywood Life, “I’m just letting them do their thing. I think it’s Emily’s duty to do it. Mine was mine, this is a new way. Mine was 50 years ago, and that boggles the mind.”
“Julie will always be, for me and for everybody, the most astonishing performance as Mary Poppins, winning the Oscar and bursting onto the scene so brilliantly,” Rob notes. “But Emily is the perfect person to carry the torch, and I know Julie feels the exact same way. She loves her.”
Mary Poppins Returns appears in theaters on Dec. 19.