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Production on “Mary Poppins Returns,” the all-new sequel to Disney’s 1964 film “Mary Poppins,” has commenced at Shepperton Studios.

The film, which stars Golden Globe® winner Emily Blunt (“The Girl on the Train,” “Into the Woods”) and Emmy®, GRAMMY® and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”) and is directed and produced by Oscar® nominee, Emmy® and DGA Award winner Rob Marshall (“Into the Woods,” “Chicago”), is scheduled for release in December 2018.

The film also stars Ben Whishaw (“Spectre”), Emily Mortimer (“Hugo”) and Julie Walters (“Harry Potter” films) with Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”). In addition, Dick Van Dyke plays Mr. Dawes Jr., the chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, which is now run by William Weatherall Wilkins (Firth).

“Mary Poppins Returns” introduces three new Banks children, played by Pixie Davies (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”), Nathanael Saleh (“Game of Thrones”) and newcomer Joel Dawson.

The film is produced by Marshall, Emmy® winner and Golden Globe® nominee John DeLuca (“Chicago”) and Oscar® and Tony® nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Marc Platt (“La La Land”). The screenplay is by Oscar nominee David Magee (“Life of Pi”) based on The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers with Oscar nominee and Tony winner Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray”) and Emmy nominee and Tony winner Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”) writing all new songs with Shaiman composing an original score.

“Mary Poppins Returns” is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers’ additional seven books. In the story, Michael (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colourful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Streep).

PL Travers first introduced the world to the no-nonsense nanny in her 1934 book “Mary Poppins,” which Disney adapted for the screen and released in August 1964. The film, which was directed by Robert Stevenson and starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, was the top-grossing film of that year and nominated for 13 Academy Awards®, winning five. However, the subsequent adventures of Mary Poppins remained only on the pages of PL Travers’ seven additional books, which she published between 1935 and 1988.

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