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'Blind Side' Director Gets 'Mary Poppins' Centric 'Saving Mr. Banks'

by
February 27, 2012
Source: Deadline

Mary Poppins

Last night, we witnessed some defining moments in the careers of those nominated for Oscars at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Their names will always have an asterisk next to them indicating their nomination in the industry's most prestigious ceremony, and today we have an update regarding a director whose film was up for Best Picture just a couple of years ago. The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock is in talks to join a Disney project called Saving Mr. Banks, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes story of how Walt Disney himself snagged the rights to the book on which the classic Mary Poppins is based. More below!

Deadline has the story which also says heavy hitters Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are being considered for the roles of Walt Disney and Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, respectively. It's still far too early on in the process to confirm any casting, but big names like Hanks and Streep would certainly help sell a story that, while it does sound interesting, also sounds to be a little too inside-the-industry for the general public. A movie about a guy getting the rights to make a movie? Not exactly thrilling, but who would've thought that a story about a guy creating a website called Facebook would be so good?

Apparently Disney courted Travers for 14 years before she finally allowed him the movie rights, so it's conceivable that this movie could be the equivalent of a feature-length version of one of Don Draper's pitch sessions from "Mad Men." Since I've always found the concept of selling someone the most entertaining part of that show, maybe Saving Mr. Banks could tap into that magic for the big screen. Plus, the script, written by Kelly Marcel, was on the Black List, so that's a good sign. Thoughts?

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  • Txsrangerfan08
    Sounds interesting, but sounds more like it should be a documentary. I'll see it anyways since the story sounds cool. I read the article as Meryl would be playing Mary Poppins, and I was like, why not Julie Andrews? Then I re-read it.
  • Jedibilly
    It's the same concept as Julie & Julia and finding Neverland
  • JM
    The most interesting point for me is how Disney will make a film with Mr. Walt Disney as the Villain (read in wikipedia about the story), one of millions of examples about How Disney vampyrized a lot of stories. It could be the the newest twist in vampyre films: a vampyre who lives froms others ideas instead of their blood. And that could hand with the urban legend of Disney is not dead but freezed (a fridge instead a coffin), ant he still robes the soul of stories like The little mermaid, The Hunchback of NotreDame, or even Rapunzel last year.
  • JM
    The most interesting point for me is how Disney will make a film with Mr. Walt Disney as the Villain (read in wikipedia about the story), one of millions of examples about How Disney vampyrized a lot of stories. It could be the the newest twist in vampyre films: a vampyre who lives froms others ideas instead of their blood. And that could hand with the urban legend of Disney is not dead but freezed (a fridge instead a coffin), ant he still robes the soul of stories like The little mermaid, The Hunchback of NotreDame, or even Rapunzel last year.
  • JCS
    As the son of one of the Sherman Brothers, the men that with Walt Disney, Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi actually made "Mary Poppins" the film classic it became, I am amazed and really rather shocked that Disney is considering moving forward with this project.  I read the screenplay and can tell you that it's purely an outsider's fictional guess of the truly great story that really occurred in the film's creation.  "Saving Mr. Banks" falsely makes Mrs. Travers out to be a driving genius behind the adaptation of her "Mary Poppins" chapter books. She was merely a speed bump in the process and had truly no input in the film version.  She did not come up with "Feed the Birds," "A Spoonful of Sugar" and other key songs and story points as this uninformed writer suggests.  It is also not even close to capturing the real Walt Disney.  Just amazing.  The truth is, true Disney fans know a lot of the real story and, if this film is made in it's present form, it will be roundly ridiculed and dismissed.  I hope they will reconsider.

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