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Bradley Whitford in talks for ‘Mr. Banks’

Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson star in Disney pic

“The Cabin in the Woods” star Bradley Whitford is in early talks to join Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” which chronicles Walt Disney’s 14-year effort to persuade Aussie author P.L. Travers to sell him the film rights to her book “Mary Poppins.”

Disney had no comment on the casting.

John Lee Hancock is directing from a script by Kelly Marcel. Alison Owen of Ruby Films is among the producers. Thompson plays Travers, and Hanks plays Disney.

Whitford has an offer to play Don DaGradi, who co-wrote director Robert Stevenson’s 1964 classic that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. DaGradi took the lead throughout the difficult development process, during which he was constantly shut down by Travers, who had a strong emotional connection to her characters.

Pic will co-star Colin Farrell in the poignant role of Travers’ father, who inspired the Mr. Banks character that David Tomlinson played in “Mary Poppins.” He died when the author was very young.

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Whitford, who co-starred in Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s Lionsgate pic “The Cabin in the Woods,” recently appeared on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and CBS’ “The Mentalist.” Thesp previously shared the bigscreen with Hanks in Jonathan Demme’s “Philadelphia.” He’ll soon be seen in the indies “Savannah” and “Decoding Annie Parker,” the latter of which stars Helen Hunt and Whitford’s “West Wing” co-star Richard Schiff.

Whitford is repped by WME and Greenlight Management.

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