Is Julie Andrews in ‘Mary Poppins Returns’? What She’s Said about the 2018 Movie Remake

Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins | Disney

The nanny with a magic bag and an infectious smile will return to the big screen on December 19th. The much-beloved tale of Mary Poppins has gotten a modern-day makeover, but all of the critical elements of the story are sure to appear, except for one very crucial element: the original Mary Poppins.

Julie Andrews, the actress who made the role famous in 1964, will be absent from the film’s remake. Poppins fans are undoubtedly disappointed that Andrews will not grace the screen during the film’s 131 minute run time, but there is a perfect reason for it.

The original Mary Poppins was released in 1964 to universal acclaim. It went on to receive 13 Oscar nominations at the 1965 Academy Awards Ceremony, and won for five of the nominated categories, including best actress in a leading role. The film also won for best soundtrack, best score, and best visual effects.

Why won’t Julie Andrews appear in ‘Mary Poppins Returns’?

Julie Andrews was approached early in the film’s development, according to Variety. The film’s production team would have loved Andrews to make a cameo appearance, but never got far enough in talks to develop her actual character. Andrews immediately turned down the offer, stating that she’d rather not overshadow Emily Blunt, the actress who will be playing Mary Poppins.

Director Rob Marshall is a huge fan of Julie Andrews, and the pair is friendly. During the film’s inception, Marshall said he approached Andrews about the project. She immediately turned down an offer to appear. According to Marshall, Andrews simply wants the audience to be captivated by Blunt’s portrayal of the magical nanny. The last thing she wants is for a cameo by the original to outshine the magic of the movie’s remake.

While Julie Andrews will be absent from the remake, there is one original star who was more than happy to reprise his role in the film. Dick Van Dyke, now 92-years-old, will dance his way across the screen once more. Van Dyke’s appearance in the original Mary Poppins as the chimney sweep and Mary’s bestie, Bert, earned Van Dyke a Golden Globe Nomination. In Mary Poppins Returns, Van Dyke will make a cameo appearance, but Lin-Manuel Miranda will play Poppins’ BFF in the remake. Miranda’s character Jack is said to have been a former apprentice of Bert’s.

What is Julie Andrews’ opinion on the film remake?

British actress Emily Blunt poses for photographers
Emily Blunt is the new Mary Poppins | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

According to everyone involved with the film, Andrews has been nothing but enthusiastic and gracious, from the inception of the concept through production. She has, allegedly, been a long-time fan of Emily Blunt and is excited to see how she takes the Poppin’s role and turns it into something magical for her career, too. However, Andrews has a hands-off approach to the film that helped her rise to stardom more than 50 years ago.

While Andrews worked steadily in Britain through the 1950s, Mary Poppins is said to be the role that ignited her star. She went on to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award, and a BAFTA award for her role in the movie. The following year, Andrews appeared in The Sound of Music.

Andrews career spans over 50 years, and she has amassed nearly 50 acting credits, including some seriously iconic roles. She appeared in the early 2000s in The Princess Diaries opposite Anne Hathaway. She also lent her voice to several animated films, including Shrek.  Most recently, Andrews lent her voice to Aquaman, the film that is being seen as Mary Poppins Returns biggest competition at the box office.