Recasting a beloved movie character comes with its own unique set of challenges. Whether it's James Bond or Han Solo, there are always obstacles in the process of bringing a new actor into a well-known series. That's exactly what's happening with Disney's decision to cast Emily Blunt in the titular role of Mary Poppins Returns, but when the actress opened up to CinemaBlend and other outlets during a visit to the film's set last year in London, she revealed that she didn't watch the original in her preparation for the new movie. Blunt explained:
I have not watched the original since I was a child, because nobody's gonna out-do Julie Andrews. I think I just want to... it's just gonna be my version of her.
Sometimes it pays to look at the work of those who have preceded you if you plan to step into an iconic role. However, that's not what Emily Blunt decided to do in her preparation for the role of Mary Poppins. The actress had seen the original Mary Poppins when she was a child, but she opted not to return to the portrayal of Julie Andrews as she geared up to take on the lead role in Mary Poppins Returns. Knowing that she likely couldn't live up to the legendary portrayal of the character by Julie Andrews (if for no other reason than the fact that Andrews has made the role into an icon), she has instead worked to create something that stands on its own and lets her do her own thing.
Luckily, Mary Poppins Returns does much of the work for Emily Blunt. Taking place years after the original, it will take Mary to an entirely new era (The Great Depression), and feature a wholly original musical score designed explicitly for Blunt's vocal style. With no classic songs in the mix, she can truly make it her own.
Mary Poppins Returns takes place several decades after the events of the original Mary Poppins. Following a death in the family, the Banks clan finds itself once again faced with the supernatural nanny who comes into their lives to make things right and bring some joy. In addition to Emily Blunt, the film also stars Mamma Mia stars Meryl Streep and Colin Firth, Skyfall's Ben Wishaw, and original Mary Poppins actor Dick Van Dyke.
Ultimately, we will have a chance to see exactly what Emily Blunt's version of Mary Poppins looks like later this year when Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters onDecember 19. Make sure to keep it here for more information related to the long-awaited sequel to the beloved original, and head over to our movie premiere guide to read up on all of the other films that are slated for the big screen in 2018!