Veteran television and film actor Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert in Disney’s 1964 feature film Mary Poppins starring Academy Award winner Julie Andrews (The Princess Diaries), will appear in Disney’s sequel Mary Poppins Returns. Van Dyke first broke the news to The Hollywood Reporter, and Disney confirmed the news earlier this week.
Rob Marshall (Into The Woods) will helm from a screenplay by David Magee (Finding Neverland), based on the original stories by P.L. Travers. The new musical adventure is set in Depression-era London 25 years after the events of the first film. Jane and Michael Banks, now all grown up, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by their favorite childhood nanny Poppins following a personal loss.
The ensemble cast includes Emily Blunt (The Girl On the Train) in the titular role, Academy Award winner Meryl Streep as her cousin, Angela Lansbury (honorary Academy Award winner two years ago), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway’s Hamilton) as Poppins’ friend Jack, Academy Award winner Colin Firth as a bank president, Emily Mortimer (The Sense of an Ending) as Jane Banks, and Ben Whishaw (In the Heart of the Sea) as Michael Banks. Van Dyke’s role has not yet been specified.
Van Dyke was the star of the classic TV sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s. Three decades later, he starred in the hit television drama Diagnosis: Murder which ran for several seasons. On the big screen, he was known for his work in musicals. Besides Mary Poppins, he starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Bye Bye Birdie.
Mary Poppins Returns is slated for release on December 25, 2018.