Giamatti, Schwartzman, Wilson descend on Disney 'Poppins' story
Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and Ruth Wilson have joined the cast of Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” revolving around “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers.John Lee Hancock helms from a script by Kelly Marcel that focuses on Walt Disney’s 14-year courtship of the Australian author for the film rights to the Poppins character, played by Julie Andrews in the 1964 classic. After opposing the film’s animated sequences, Travers refused to sell Disney the rights to her other books. Tom Hanks is playing Disney in the pic, with Emma Thompson portraying Travers. Pic’s title refers to the character played by David Tomlinson in the film. Wilson will play the wife of Colin Farrell’s character and mother of Travers in flashback sequences. She is currently in production on Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” and has “Anna Karenina” upcoming. Giamatti, fresh off “Rock of Ages,” will play Travers’ chauffeur Ralph, while she’s visiting Los Angeles. Thesp will next be seen in “Cosmopolis.” Meanwhile, Schwartzman (“Moonrise Kingdom”) will portray Richard Morton Sherman, a songwriter who penned a number of tunes for Disney films, including “Mary Poppins” “The Jungle Book,” “Winnie the Pooh,” “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “It’s a Small World” for the theme park attraction. Disney declined to comment on the castings. Giamatti is repped by UTA and Kipperman Management; Schwartzman by WME; and Wilson by CAA, Troika and Untitled Entertainment.