We’ve seen on-set pap snaps and sneaks from inside the soundstages, but this seems to be the first official promotional image from the making-of-Mary Poppins movie, Saving Mr. Banks.
The big talking point here, almost inevitably, will be the casting of Hanks in the role of Walt Disney. He’s not the lead-lead, though, playing second fiddle to Emma Thompson as PL Travers, the creator of the Mary Poppins and a sometimes-resistant collaborator with the movie studio.
Making Disney’s Main Street look period specific sounds quite easy, but I’m sure it still took a bit of work to get the buildings to pass for 1961 – not to mention an awful lot of costuming and hairstyling for the extras.
Time Magazine premiered the above image, and shared some quotes from Thompson. As well as discussing Travers, Thompson seemed to be speaking from her Nanny McPhee experience when addressing the responsibilities implicit in telling stories for children:
There’s a tendency to cast aside a children’s author or children’s film and make it seem less important than those for an adult audience. Of course, I think it’s the other way around. You can get away with dropping the ball from time to time with adult audiences but children know. You’ve really got to do your best. Letting them down is a serious failure in your artistic integrity.
Of course, Saving Mr. Banks is aimed at adults, so any lapses of integrity, either by Thompson, Hanks, director John Lee Hancock or screenwriter Kelly Marcel apparently won’t be so heinous.
Mary Poppins is something like a masterpiece. We’ll see what Mr. Banks is like come Oscar season.