When the news broke last month that Disney was planning to “revisit” Mary Poppins, skepticism abounded on the internet. After all, what about the iconic musical could possibly be tweaked or expanded upon? Even having an established musical director like Rob Marshall (Chicago) at the helm did little to assuage concerns. So Marshall recently took it upon himself to reassure everyone that he’s not going to ruin your childhood with a new take—not even a gritty one, despite that angle’s current popularity—on an old favorite.
While speaking to Vulture recently about his project, Marshall said “It’s not a new Mary Poppins.” He went on to explain that he intended to draw from the seven other books in creator P.L. Travers’ series: “[W]e are working from the other books, not touching the iconic brilliance of Mary Poppins. This is an extension.” Although only one film ever arose from Travers’ books, it sounds like Marshall sees franchise potential in her series, calling it “the Harry Potter of its time.”
And when asked about Julie Andrews, who originated the role of Mary Poppins, Marshall said, “I know she is very happy that we’re doing it and, after 50 years, feels that it is time.” The director also said he’d love to find a way to involve Andrews in his new Disney film, which he’s already made clear isn’t going undermine the 1964 classic in which she starred.