Steven Spielberg to Remake Mary Poppins Film?

Today's UK Independent reports that legendary director Steven Spielberg has been in talks with the stage show's director, Richard Eyre, about bringing MARY POPPINS back to the big screen. A UK spokesperson for the show noted that while it would be highly unusual to make a film this early after opening, that some recent films have indeed driven more audiences to their stage counterparts. Casting for the Broadway production is set to begin shortly, and director Eyre tells the paper that he remains hopeful for the show to use as much of the British cast as possible. He'd also like to see the same cast in the film, and says that the studio will be playing close attention.

MARY POPPINS, based on the stories by P.L. Travers and the 1964 Walt Disney film will begin performance on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre (Broadway at West 42nd Street) Saturday, October 14, 2006 for a Thursday, November 16, 2006 opening. MARY POPPINS will continue its record-breaking run at the Prince Edward Theatre in London's West End.

Steven Spielberg has directed, produced, or executive produced seven of the thirty top-grossing films of all time, including Jurassic Park and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award® winner, earning two Oscars® for Best Director and Best Picture for Schindler's List, and a third Oscar® for Best Director for Saving Private Ryan. He has also received Academy Award® nominations for Best Director for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

His complete list of films to date, include: Munich (2005), War of the Worlds (2005), The Terminal (2004), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Minority Report (2002), A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001), Saving Private Ryan (1998) (Academy Award, Best Director), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Amistad (1997), Schindler's List (1993) (Academy Award, Best Director, Best Picture), Jurassic Park (1993), Hook (1991), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Always (1989), Empire of the Sun (1987), The Color Purple (1985), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), 1941 (1979), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Jaws (1975) and The Sugarland Express (1974).

MARY POPPINS features many of the original songs from the film, with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who won two Oscarsâ for the film Mary Poppins. The new stage production features new songs and additional music and lyrics by Olivierâ Award-winners George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The production has been created in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh.

Director Richard Eyre leads the award-winning creative team assembled for MARY POPPINS with co-direction and choreography by Olivier Award winner Matthew Bourne. MARY POPPINS features a book by Oscarâ-winner Julian Fellowes, set and costume design is by Tony Awardâ winner Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Olivier Award winner Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and musical supervision by David Caddick.

It took Walt Disney twenty years to make the film of MARY POPPINS, from the time he first tried to secure the film rights to its triumphant premiere in 1964. The film was an immediate and phenomenal success, earning universal acclaim. The film played to an estimated 200 million people when it was released, engendering extraordinary affection in its audiences, and has remained one of Disney's most enduring and best-loved films.

MARY POPPINS creator Pamela Lyndon (P.L.) Travers was born Helen Lyndon Goff in Australia on August 9, 1899. While touring as a theatre actress, Pamela began publishing poems, articles, and stories; which led to a career in journalism. It was in 1934, while living in England, that she wrote the first of six books featuring Mary Poppins. When publishing, Pamela used only her initials, hiding her gender to avoid being dismissed as an archetypal female author of children's books. Travers wrote a number of other adult books, including The Fox at the Manger, Friend Monkey, and About the Sleeping Beauty. Pamela Travers passed away on April 23, 1996.

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