Jason Schwartzman & Paul Giamatti Join Disney's 'Saving Mr. Banks'
If you were to create a list of some of the best supporting actors working in the industry today, there's no question that Paul Giamatti's name should be near the top. A bit quirkier but no less talented is frequent Wes Anderson collaborator Jason Schwartzman, and according to Variety, the two are joining forces for Disney's true story behind Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks. The film stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as author P.L. Travers, and follows Disney's quest to convince Travers into giving him the rights to her famous character so he could make the movie musical we all now know and love. Read on!
Giamatti will play Travers' Los Angeles chauffer, and Schwartzman will play famed songwriter Richard Morton Sherman, who wrote classic songs for The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Winnie The Pooh, Mary Poppins, and the theme park ride It's A Small World (Good luck getting that one out of your head for the next five minutes). Seems like great casting to me, especially considering Schwartzman's much-publicized love affair with music as the drummer for Phantom Planet not to mention relasing music under the solo project Coconut Records.) Up-and-comer Ruth Wilson, who stars in the forthcoming The Lone Ranger, has also joined the cast as Travers' mother, who we see in flashback form.
The script is from Kelly Marcel ("Terra Nova") and directed by John Lee Hooker (The Blind Side), and is expected to be released sometime in 2013. With Hanks on board and such a classic movie at the heart of this project, it's sure to find a wide audience, but there's a chance the whole thing could be a bit too "inside baseball" for general filmgoers. Regardless, I'm really looking forward to it and the addition of Giamatti and Schwartzman only makes me anticipate it even more.