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Saving Mr. Banks Begins Production in Los Angeles, California

9/20/2012 12:05:30 PM EST
Disney has announced that they have begun production on "Saving Mr. Banks", the story of Walt Disney's pursuit of the film rights for Mary Poppins.  

Tom Hanks will be starring as the legendary Walt Disney, and Emma Thompson will star as P.L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins novel.  The film will show the testy business relationship between the two, and the struggle on both sides to have their visions come to life.

Countdown with friends to the release of Saving Mr Banks with the Movie Clock App

Walt Disney wanted to make the novel into a film since the 1940s and even promised his daughters he would.  When Travers came to Hollywood in 1961 to discuss the project, he met a woman who was set in her ways, and suspect of the filmmaker's vision for the film. Travers' toughness comes from her past, and the loss of her beloved father, who was the muse for the story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks.

She reluctantly grants Disney the rights, and while working with him, Travers realizes that he, too, has his reasons for wanting this film to come to life; that he is also paying tribute to his own father, Elias.

Collin Farrell will play Travers' father, Goff, and Ruth Wilson will play his wife, Margaret.  Rachel Griffiths will play Margaret's sister, Aunt Ellie  (who inspired the title character of Travers’ novel) and 11 year old newcomer, Annie Buckley, will portray the young author.

Also starring in the film will be Emmy® winner Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing,” “The Cabin in the Woods”) as screenwriter Don DaGradi; Jason Schwartzman (“Rushmore,” “Moonrise Kingdom”) and B.J. Novak (“NBC’s “The Office,” “Inglourious Basterds”) as the songwriting Sherman Brothers (Richard and Robert, respectively); Oscar® nominee and Emmy winner Paul Giamatti (“Sideways,” “Cinderella Man,” HBO’s “John Adams”) as Ralph, the kindly limousine driver who escorts Travers during her two-week stay in Hollywood; and multi-Emmy winner Kathy Baker (“Picket Fences,” “Edward Scissorhands”) as Tommie, one of Disney’s trusted studio associates.

The film will be directed by John  Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “The Rookie”) based on a screenplay by Kelly Marcel (creator of FOX-TV’s “Terra Nova”), from a story by Sue Smith (“Brides of Christ,” “Bastard Boys”) and Kelly Marcel.  The film is being produced by Alison Owen of Ruby Films (the Oscar®-nominated “Elizabeth,” HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Temple Grandin”), Ian Collie of Essential Media (the Aussie TV documentary “The Shadow of Mary Poppins,” DirecTV’s “Rake”) and longtime Hancock collaborator Philip Steuer (“The Rookie,” “The Chronicles of Narnia” trilogy).  The film’s executive producers are Ruby Films’ Paul Trijbits (“Lay the Favorite,” “Jane Eyre”), Hopscotch Features’ Andrew Mason (“The Matrix” trilogy, “Dark City”) and Troy Lum (“Mao’s Last Dancer,” “I, Frankenstein”) and BBC Films’ Christine Langan (Oscar® nominee for “The Queen,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin”).

"Saving Mr. Banks" will be released in 2013.


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