So I got your attention? Maybe, with better truth in advertising, the marquee would proclaim: “Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.” Yes, Tom Hanks landed the role of our favorite American icon in a movie concerning his chase to land the rights to Mary Poppins from a very distrusting author, P.L. Travers, portrayed by Emma Thompson. Reportedly, this is the first on-screen portrayal of Walt Disney.
Currently in production, the movie is titled Saving Mr. Banks. The film goes on to explore the testy relationship between Travers, who demanded much control regarding the content of the film over, and, as we already know, a very finicky and quality-controlling Walt and his creative team. An interesting story point concerns how both individuals wanted to honor their own father with this now classic film. We will learn through flashbacks during the film how, during a trying time of her family’s history, she conjured the ideas for the characters and story of her novel.
If you seek the usual “happily ever after” finale to this film, I am afraid we all will be sorely disappointed. Trevors found the film version of her book a huge disappointment, especially the animated segments, and she swore to never sell Disney the film rights to any of the other books. The Mary Poppins series featured eight books in total. Can you imagine the magic Walt could’ve created with the rest of the stories?
Please share in the comments: Who else would you like to have seen play Walt? How well do you think Tom Hanks will do as our beloved Walt Disney? This might be the most difficult: If more Mary Poppins movies were done today, who could fill Julie Andrew’s shoes (no one, but who could come the closest)? I will give my thoughts on the last question: Lea Michelle. Let the debates begin.