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Actor Tom Hanks to play Walt Disney in 'Mary Poppins' related film

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Famed actor Tom Hanks is reportedly set to play legendary animator Walt Disney in a new film about the making of 'Mary Poppins'.

According to Variety, Hanks will star alongside Emma Thompson, as Australian author P.L. Travers.

To date, the movie is tentatively titled 'Saving Mr. Banks' and will explore the making of the 1964 Disney classic and the rocky road it took to get there.

Directed by 'The Blind Slide' director John Lee Hancock, the film follows Disney's 14-year courting of the author for the rights to the beloved nanny character that came in on the 'east wind' to care for the Banks' children.

Author P.L. Travers unhappy with Disney version of 'Mary Poppins'

What Poppins fans may not know, the story of the magical nanny is actually a series of children's books first published in 1934 and apparently, a highly personal story to Travers.

Inspired by hardships of the author's own life, as well as her relationship with her father, a spoon full of sugar didn't exactly help the medicine go down for Travers. It's no secret, the author was displeased with the finished 1964 product.

In an attempt to bring her original portrayal of Poppins to the big screen, Travers gained script approval rights and spent over two years with Disney hashing out the details. While Disney originally approached the writer in 1938, she didn't agree to a film adaptation until 1961.

Travers and Disney reportedly clashed over every detail including song choices, storyline changes and the animated sequence.

As a result, the author didn't sell any of her other works to the ever-expanding Walt Disney company.

Mary Poppins Fun Facts

  • Disney's musical starred Julie Andrews in her Hollywood debut as Mary Poppins and funnyman Dick Van Dyke
  • Best known for songs such as A Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and Chim Chim Cher-ee, which won the 1965 best song Academy Award
  • Travers wrote a total of eight novels about the magical nanny
  • Travers wasn't originally invited to the film's premiere and supposedly cried after watching the final product.
  • Prior to the 1964 premiere Walt Disney hadn't attended a premiere since 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' in 1937.

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