By Gregg Kilday, The Hollywood Reporter
Angela Lansbury, a veteran of Disney musicals both live-action (Bedknobs and Broomsticks) and animated (Beauty and the Beast), has joined the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, the currently filming sequel to 1964’s Mary Poppins, in which she’ll be featured as the Balloon Lady, a character who appeared in PL Travers’ series of Mary Poppins children’s books.
The new film, scheduled for release by Disney on Dec. 25, is directed and produced by Rob Marshall and stars Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. The film introduces three new Banks children, played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and Joel Dawson and also features Dick Van Dyke.
The film is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca and Marc Platt from a screenplay by David Magee based on The Mary Poppins Stories by Travers with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman writing all new songs and Shaiman composing an original score.
An honorary Oscar winner and three-time Academy Award nominee, Lansbury’s extensive film, TV and theater credits range from Gaslight and The Manchurian Candidate to Murder, She Wrote to Mame and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.