Emily Blunt to play Mary Poppins in sequel to Disney classic
Emily Blunt is to follow in the footsteps of Julie Andrews as the star of a new Mary Poppins film.
The British actress will play the magical nanny in a sequel to 1964 Disney classic, which is due to be released on Christmas Day in 2018.
Mary Poppins Returns will tell the story of an older Jane and Michael Banks and Michael's three children, who are visited by Poppins in the aftermath of a "personal loss" in Depression-hit London, Walt Disney Studios said.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, will play a new character in the film, Jack, a street lamplighter.
The movie's director is Rob Marshall, whose previous work includes Chicago and Into The Woods, while the script is being produced by Finding Neverland writer David Magee.
Marshall said: "I am truly humbled and honoured to be asked by Disney to bring PL Travers' further adventures to the screen. The iconic original film means so much to me personally, and I look forward to creating an original movie musical that can bring Mary Poppins, and her message that childlike wonder can be found in even the most challenging of times, to a whole new generation."
PL Travers introduced the world to Mary Poppins in her 1934 book, which Disney adapted for the screen and released in August 1964.
The film, which was directed by Robert Stevenson and starred Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, won five Oscars, including Best Actress for Andrews. PL Travers' wrote seven additional Mary Poppins books, which she published between 1935 and 1988.
Blunt, 33, whose previous films include Sicario and The Huntsman: Winter's War, is currently expecting her second child with her husband, actor John Krasinski.
She will next appear on the big screen in the thriller The Girl On The Train, which opens in October.