Tom Hanks & Meryl Streep in Mary Poppins Movie 'Saving Mr. Banks'?

Hanks would play Walt Disney & Streep would be P.L. Travers in the drama about the 14 year long struggle for the rights to the 1964 musical classic.

Deadline reports that Disney are close to acquiring Saving Mr. Banks, a black listed screenplay from up-and-coming Brit writer Kelly Marcel (and co-creator of Terra Nova) that re-tells the story of how Walt Disney persuaded Australian author P.L. Travers, over a 14 year period, to sell him the rights to make a film out of her most celebrated character, Mary Poppins. Disney, who lets be honest here are the company who naturally would most want to make a film about their founder, are likely the only studio who could make it happen. Disney not only own the rights to the 1964 musical favourite that starred Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson (who played Mr Banks in that film) but with the resources they have for lawyers, it would be hard to see another studio getting it made without their blessing. But the good news is that Disney have a plan to get the film made and don't want it to be a project that sits on the shelf. Reports are they have been circling the property a while and have high expectations for it, which is reflected in their desire to set Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, and Oscar favourite Meryl Streep as Travers. The story over the Mary Poppins rights issues is an interesting one with Travers not easily letting the rights to her magical nanny go to anyone for years. It was a personal property close to her heart, reflecting her own life and relationships with her father, who had died when she was young. Walt finally got her to give up the rights to make the film, but she was rarely happy with any of the big screen decisions he and his team made, particularly the animated sequences which made her vow never to sell any of her works to the Mouse ever again. Marcel's script reflects all of this and was of such good quality it made the 2011 Black List and is currently setup with producer Alison Owen at Ruby Films, the UK shingle behind Tamara Drewe and Jane Eyre. Let's hope if Disney buy it they really go for it and the project doesn't end up like the excellent written The Muppet Man, a biopic of Jim Henson, that topped the Black List two years ago but was bought by The Henson Company in order so that no other studio could get it made.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.