Though the official debut of Mary Poppins Returns is still 18 months away, Disney has sent fans into a tizzy by releasing a first look at the much-anticipated sequel.
The shots were shared by Entertainment Weekly, and show stars Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Jack, a lamplighter and former apprentice of chimney sweep Bert) dancing with a new generation of Banks children.
Mary Poppins Returns is set 25 years after the events portrayed in the original film, which places it squarely in the midst of the Great Depression. This time around, the focus is on a grown-up Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw), a banker and artist left gutted by the sudden death of his wife that leaves him a single parent to three children.
When Aunt Jane (Emily Mortimer) and long-time housemaid Ellen (Julie Walters) are unable to lift his spirits, that’s when the ever enigmatic and prim nanny makes her return to Cherry Lane.
“The bar is so high for this,” explained director Rob Marshall, who directed both Chicago and Into The Woods. “But to be able to walk in the footsteps of this beautiful story about a woman who brings magic to this family that’s looking for wonder and hope and joy in their lives… I feel a great responsibility and reverence every day. We all feel it. We’re just lifting it up to get there with the right intentions behind it.”
To ensure the film stands up to its predecessor, Marshall has enlisted the help of a number of A-list celebrities, including not only Blunt and Miranda, but also living legends Meryl Streep and Angela Lansbury.
Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters on Christmas Day 2018.