×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lin-Manuel Miranda Hopes ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ DVD Will Include Song Cut From the Movie

Building on a beloved story is always a challenge. At the New York premiere of “Mary Poppins Returns” on Monday night, director Rob Marshall called his task “daunting to say the least.” But as the cast and creative team shared their experiences (and favorite songs), it was clear that everyone involved had a reverence for the original — and that they were determined to make the tale their own.

Emily Blunt had seen Julie Andrews’ iconic take on the character as a child, but she deliberately decided not to revisit the 1964 film until after the shoot for “Mary Poppins Returns” had wrapped. Instead, she went straight to the source: P. L. Travers’ series of Mary Poppins novels. “I just read the books, and read this exquisite script, and so much was evoked from those two experiences that I managed to find a new version of her,” Blunt told Variety.

John DeLuca, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Blunt, Rob Marshall. Producer John DeLuca, left, actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, actress Emily Blunt and director Rob Marshall pose together at a special screening of Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns", hosted by The Cinema Society, at the SVA Theatre, in New YorkNY Special Screening of "Mary Poppins Returns", New York, USA - 17 Dec 2018
CREDIT: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“I was aware of the books, but I have to be quite honest, I wasn’t fully aware there were eight of them!” Marshall admitted, laughing. Once he dove in, they proved to be exactly what he and his team needed. “There was a lot of material, and it made sense for there to be a sequel someday. It was sort of thrilling, because the first film means so, so much to us, and we wanted to make sure to honor that first film, but at the same time, we were anxious to create an original musical from the very beginning.”

So, how did he strike that balance? “Honestly, I used myself as a barometer the entire time. I knew that I would want to see a live-action, hand-drawn animation sequence in the spirit of the first film, because I thought it would feel very fresh today, but I also feel it’s in the DNA of ‘Mary Poppins,’” Marshall explained. That signature style was one of several “guideposts” he considered essential for the sequel — a list that also included the penguins. “I knew I would be disappointed if they weren’t part of it!”

Screenwriter David Magee had a similar relationship with the 1964 feature. “‘Mary Poppins’ was a film from my childhood; it was something baked into all of our DNAs,” he said. “We went back and we read [P. L. Travers’ stories] like crazy, and of course we went back to the original film, but what we were trying to do was pull the elements they hadn’t touched on in the first film and take the story to another level.”

There was one moment from the books that didn’t quite make the final cut of the film — but Lin-Manuel Miranda hopes we’ll be able to see it soon. “I hope if there’s ever sort of a Blu-ray, special features — there was a song called ‘The Anthropomorphic Zoo’ that was also in the animated sequence,” he told Variety. “That was great! We had two huge numbers in a row, so they sort of took the best of that and made the Royal Doulton Music Hall song, which is also wonderful, but I hope they release ‘The Anthropomorphic Zoo.’”

It’s not the only lost song from a Mary Poppins story that Miranda has championed — he also loves “Temper, Temper,” which was cut from the stage musical for its dark tone — but when it comes to the film, he considers “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” a classic for a reason. “‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ for a lyricist is the best, because it’s the most audacious thing — let’s make up a word, and then somehow have it become the hookiest song in the history of the world,” he said with a grin. “That’s like, only the Sherman brothers. It’s incredible!”

That kind of risk-taking is part of what attracted Marshall to the genre in the first place. “I think it’s very complicated to do a musical. One of the hardest things in the world is to get one right!” the “Chicago” director said. “It’s a fine balancing act — but I think the genre is so beautiful and so life-affirming. How else can you reveal someone so deeply inside the way you can in song, the way you can in dance?” With “Into the Woods” and “Mary Poppins Returns” under his belt, he’s optimistic about the future of movie musicals, and intends to stay with the medium himself. “My hope is to continue for a long time.”

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne attends The Trevor Project's

    Cara Delevingne Recalls Producers Saying That Being Queer Will Hurt Her Career

    Hollywood may be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with displays of the rainbow flag and lots of talk about supporting diversity and inclusion, but Cara Delevingne says there’s still work to be done. “Behind closed doors, we are still being told, as I have, by powerful Hollywood producers that we can’t make it if we’re queer,” [...]

  • Kiernan Shipka and Ross LynchMTV Movie

    MTV Movie & TV Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Anthony Anderson LADF

    Why Anthony Anderson and Billie Jean King are Giving Back with the Dodgers Foundation

    Celebrities and athletes came together at the Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala to celebrate the team’s commitment to supporting youth and to catch a glimpse of the event’s headliner: Bruno Mars. Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss were honored at the fifth annual event, which raised over $3 million for programs benefiting Los Angeles youth. [...]

  • Shia LaBeouf poses at the premiere

    Shia LaBeouf to Host Birthday Fundraiser for Slauson Rec. Theater Company

    Shia LaBeouf is celebrating his 33rd birthday by giving back. The actor, who turned 33 on June 11, will host a fundraising concert later this month for the Slauson Rec Theater Company, a 10-month-old free performing arts program he co-founded in downtown Los Angeles. The night will also include a preview of the Slauson Rec [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content