One of the more popular (and somewhat clichéd) Easter Eggs used in reboots has been the inclusion of cameos by a nostalgic franchise’s original actors. While these cameos can range from cleverly implemented (i.e. Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street) to somewhat forced, they nevertheless highlight the filmmaker/ studio’s desire to replicate the past for better and for worse. For the most part, Mary Poppins Returns, the upcoming sequel to Walt Disney’s 1964 masterpiece, seems to have acquired multiple blessings to bring this nostalgia to a new audience, including the estate of author P.L. Travers, composer Richard Sherman and Dick Van Dyke himself, who will provide his own non-Burt cameo in the film devoid of a faux Cockney accent. This simply leaves the question of what Julie Andrews, the original star of Mary Poppins, thinks about the sequel. Andrews won an Oscar for her take on the role in the original film.
Luckily for fans, Andrews is “one thousand percent” on board according to director Rob Marshall, as well as its casting of Emily Blunt as the new Marry Poppins. “Julie will always be, for me and for everybody, the most astonishing performance as Mary Poppins, winning the Oscar and bursting onto the scene so brilliantly,” Marshall explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “But Emily is the perfect person to carry the torch, and I know Julie feels the exact same way. She loves her.”
Furthermore, it is because Andrews respects this casting decision so much that she has declined to make a cameo herself in the film, choosing instead to let the actress shine on her own merits. As Marshall further explained, “Julie was incredibly gracious, and we talked about it in a very general way but she made it clear right up front. She said, “This is Emily’s show, and I really want it to be Emily’s show. I don’t want it to be, “Oh, here comes that Mary Poppins.” I don’t want that. I really want her to take this and run with it, because she will be brilliant.”
Mary Poppins Returns is scheduled for a release on Christmas 2018 and will star Blunt alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer.