Saving Mr Banks to portray making of Mary Poppins movie
Mary Poppins started life as a beloved series of children’s books by P.L. Travers. Inspired by events in her own difficult childhood in the early 1900s, the books are decidedly different from the cheery movie musical that made its way to the silver screen in 1964. That is the subject of Saving Mr. Banks, as seen in this first look trailer. Check it out, then read on for more information about the Saving Mr Banks cast.
Few people realize the tumultuous backstory of this classic beloved film, and how P.L. Travers fought tooth and nail to preserve more serious aspects of the story, and — imagine this — to keep the music out. In Travers’ mind, Julie Andrews was much too pretty for the role; she should have had a turned-up nose and a black wig with a nob on top.
Today it’s hard to imagine that anyone thought Walt Disney’s conception of Mary Poppins was all wrong, but the battle for creative control between P.L. Travers and Walt Disney is exactly the story that the upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks will portray.
Tom Hanks starring as Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks
Decades after Walt Disney’s death, it’s easy to think of Walt Disney as a brand name encompassing a movie studio, theme parks, and merchandising. Families eat, sleep and breathe the Disney name: it’s easy to forget that Disney was a living, breathing human being himself, complete with dreams, and yes, flaws. Yet how to bring a legend to life on the screen, and make him real and believable for generations of admirers?
Director John Lee Hancock chose “an icon to portray an icon,” according to a recent Moviefone interview, and refused to “sugar-coat” Walt Disney in his portrayal. Tom Hanks is America’s most-loved actor. He has portrayed beloved characters for decades, and he will bring to this role his extensive range, deep experience, and most of all his relatable everyman persona.
Hanks is well-known for bringing one of Disney Pixar’s iconic characters to life: the cowboy Woody from the Toy Story franchise. Yet Hanks has also been recognized for stretching his acting muscles in more serious works such as Philadelphia and Forest Gump, both of which earned him Best Actor Oscars. It is this unique combination of humor and heart that make Hanks ideal for the role of Walt Disney.
Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers in Saving Mr Banks
It’s going to be great fun watching veteran actress Emma Thompson bring her acting chops to the role of P.L. Travers. A character she portrayed in 2005, Nanny McPhee, who had a long bulbous nose and snaggled teeth, may be closer to what P.L. Travers would have liked to see in her “perfect” nanny Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson is also no stranger to Disney, having performed the voice of Merida’s mother Elinor in Disney Pixar’s Brave. Finally, she will be well known to young audiences for playing the role of Professor Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter films. Thompson will no doubt bring bite and fight to the role of P.L. Travers.
Paul Giamatti, who will star in Season 4 of Downton Abby, is also joining the cast as P.L Travers’ Hollywood chauffeur.
Look for Saving Mr. Banks to hit theaters in December, just in time for Oscar season. This movie is certain to be a contender!