Variety has the scoop that Streep may be joining the flick, which stars Emily Blunt as the titular fantastical nanny and "Hamilton" mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda as a new Poppins pal, Jack the lamplighter. According to the trade, Streep is rumored to be playing a new character named Topsy, who is Mary Poppins' cousin.
Streep's casting adds another level of cachet to the flick, which so far is a bit of a curiosity. While Disney purists may scoff at the idea of making a sequel to the 1964 classic, it seems to be differentiating itself from its predecessor by adapting an entirely new set of tales from author P.L. Travers's "Poppins" book series, and populating itself with supporting characters not seen in the original film.
The sequel, known as "Mary Poppins Returns," takes place in Depression-era London, and centers around the now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, and Michael's three children. Poppins returns to her former charges after they suffer a personal loss, and helps them rediscover the joy that has been missing from their lives.
If Streep does indeed join the flick, it will be the third time she's worked with Blunt, who she starred with in both "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Into the Woods," both of which garnered her Oscar nominations. It would also be a reunion between Streep, Blunt, and the "Into the Woods" creative team -- including director Rob Marshall -- who are adapting the property. David Magee ("Life of Pi," "Finding Neverland") is writing the screenplay, and Marc Shaiman ("Hairspray") is composing new songs.
"Mary Poppins Returns" is slated for release on December 25, 2018.
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When Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber), the children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family, are faced with the prospect of a new nanny, they are pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the magical Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews). Embarking on a series of fantastical adventures with Mary and her Cockney performer friend, Bert (Dick Van Dyke), the siblings try to pass on some of their nanny's sunny attitude to their preoccupied parents (David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns). Read More