John Lee Hancock For Mary Poppins Orgins Story

John Lee Hancock, director of The Blind Side is in talks to direct Saving Mr Banks, the story behind the making of Mary Poppins reports Deadline. Disappointingly, it’s not an orgin story of the character itself – how she got her magical powers might make some interesting film fodder.

No, instead, the story written by Kelly Marcel , is about bringing the protracted attemts by Walt Disney to bring theadapted work of Australian author P.L. Travers to the big screen – something which he spent 14 long years doing.  The result is the film that we all know and love today starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van “questionable accent” Dyke, which went on to garner 13 Oscar nominations and four wins.

But the story of Mary Poppins was an intensely personal one for Travers – the death of her father when she was seven meant that the Poppins story had much more significance to her than might have been immediately apparent from the upbeat tone of the film.  And even though Mary Poppins received universal praise, she hated the animated segments so much that she refused Disney the rights to adapt any more of her work.

Disney are apparently keen to get this moving as soon as possible with rumours of Tom Hanks playing Disney and Meryl Streep as Travers.  Hancock meanwhile has a few other projects lined up including John Grisham adaptation The Partner and a crime drama called Highwayman.