As the Oscars just showed us Sunday, Hollywood loves movies about movies. So maybe it should come as no surprise that Walt Disney is in the process of developing a film based on the story of how studio founder Uncle Walt himself went about securing the rights to the British children’s book Mary Poppins from its author P L Travers and is currently in talks with The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock to direct.
The project got its start with a spec screenplay written by Kelly Marcel, which managed to land on last year’s Black List. Disney is still in the process of acquiring the screenplay, but considering that they own much of the screen rights for Mary Poppins, it seems doubtful that Marcel has too many other places to shop the script. There are rumors that Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are interested in roles in the film, but I honestly think it would take more than just a spoonful of sugar to help me swallow that.
Although Mary Poppins is considered one of the studio’s classics, Travers was very upset with the final product. She considered her novel to be very personal as she had infused it with things from her own life and relationship with her father. Expressing disappoint with how the film turned out, Travers refused to work with Disney again.