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Get Ready For a New 'Mary Poppins'

"Mary Poppins" is coming back to the big screen: Disney is working on a new, original musical starring its classic magical nanny.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the film is already moving through the development stages, with director Rob Marshall ("Chicago," "Into the Woods") at the helm. Marshall will re-team with his "Into the Woods" producers John DeLuca and Marc Platt for the project, which is set to be a new musical adventure featuring the Poppins character -- and not a direct sequel to the famous 1964 version.

Per EW:

The new Poppins film will take place in Depression-era London, some 20 years after Disney's classic Mary Poppins, and will draw from existing Poppins tales in the rest of author P.L. Travers' 1934-1988 children's book series. The practically perfect 1964 screen adaptation starring Julie Andrews pulled its story primarily from the first installment in Travers' eight-book series; the new project (which is decidedly not being developed as a sequel) will explore Mary's further adventures with the Banks family and beyond as illustrated by Travers' seven additional novels.

The 2013 flick "Saving Mr. Banks," which chronicled Walt Disney's attempts to get Travers to agree to let the studio adapt her books, famously depicted a rough-around-the-edges Travers who bristled at the thought of her character being featured in a musical. But according to EW, Marshall and co. are collaborating with the late author's estate on this new project, so perhaps it will take a slightly darker tone than the original "Poppins" portrayed.

Songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ("Hairspray," "Smash") are already on board to pen some new tunes, while screenwriter David Magee ("Finding Neverland," "Life of Pi") will tackle the script. It's unclear if any iconic "Poppins" tunes like "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" will make their way into this new project (and whether Andrews or costar Dick Van Dyke will cameo).

Messing with a beloved property like "Poppins" is always tricky, but if filmmakers can leave well enough alone with the original and forge a new direction with this follow-up feature, we're willing to remain (very) cautiously optimistic for now. Stay tuned.

[via: Entertainment Weekly]

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