The latest Mary Poppins Returns casting news can be summed up in one word: super-cali-fragi-listic-expi-ali-docious. HelloGiggles reports Emily Mortimer will play Jane in the Mary Poppins sequel. Set 25 years after the end of the original story, the new Mary Poppins will find a now all grown up Jane and Michael (the latter of which is played by Ben Whishaw) in need of a visit from the magical nanny of their youth. It seems something tragic has occurred in their lives that has left them and Michael's three children in need of someone who can help them find joy in life again.
In addition to Mortimer and Whishaw taking on the roles of the adult Banks children, Emily Blunt is set to play the iconic Mary Poppins, while Lin-Manuel Miranda and Meryl Streep will also star. With a cast as talented as the one Disney has assembled, the sequel to the beloved classic is in good hands.
I am extra excited to see how Mortimer brings adult Jane to life though. Thanks to her previous roles in Hugo, Cars 2, Shutter Island, and the excellent HBO series Doll & Em, it is clear Mortimer has a diverse range that allows her to move easily between movies aimed at children and adults. Since Jane is a character who was once an imaginative, thoughtful child and is now dealing with adult troubles, Mortimer's eclectic mix of roles is going to make her a perfect fit.
Remember, in the original film when Mary Poppins measured Jane with her special tape she found Jane was "rather inclined to giggle and doesn't put things away"? If a tragedy has taken away Jane's sense of joy, then Mortimer will need to believably play an adult who may have told herself Mary Poppins' magic was just a childish fantasy while also eventually be able to recapture the giggly young girl who delighted in making mischief. It is going to be such a treat for fans of the original movie to see how much Jane has changed (and stayed the same) over the years, and Mortimer has all the talent and energy necessary to pick up where the original Jane, Karen Dotrice, left off.
Jane is now not only a former charge of Mary Poppins', but also an aunt to Michael's children making it all the more important she does not lose her sense of childish wonder for good. Seeing the wonderfully playful Mortimer — remember her role as the bird-boned Phoebe on 30 Rock — help teach the next generation of Banks children how to make the most of their precious childhoods is going to be delightful.