- SAVING MR. BANKS
|Paul Giamatti joins Saving Mr Banks|
Saving Mr. Banks reveals the story behind how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) spent 14 years convincing Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to give him the film rights, culminating with the 1964 Julie Andrews musical that snagged five Oscars and today is widely regarded as a classic. The film failed to win Travers’ affections, and so she refused to sell Walt the rights to her sequel novels.
The project is based on a screenplay written by Kelly Marcel (creator of the now-defunct Terra Nova), with John Lee Hancock directing. Hancock directed The Alamo and The Rookie for Disney, though his most successful film to date is the Best Picture-nominated The Blind Side.
Colin Farrell will be playing Traver’s father (the inspiration for the Mr. Banks character), while The West Wing alum Bradley Whitford is up for the role of Mary Poppins screenwriter Don DaGradi.
Variety reports that Paul Giamatti has signed on for Mr. Saving Banks, where he’ll play Travers’ chauffeur around Hollywood, Ralph. Meanwhile, Jason Schwartzman is onboard to portray Richard Morton Sherman, the songwriter behind Mary Poppins and several other Disney films.
Ruth Wilson is portraying Travers’ mother in flashbacks. The English actress is most famous for her acclaimed role as the brilliant-but-twisted femme fatale Alice Morgan on the BBC’s Luther. She will be playing the female lead in Disney’s Lone Ranger, and appears in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina this September.
Saving Mr. Banks begins production later this year, as the film will probably release in 2013.