The making of Mary Poppins (incidentally, the first and only picture in which Walt Disney himself earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination) is dramatized in frothy-looking fashion in the first look of John Lee Hancock's (The Blind Side) Saving Mr. Banks, which stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Poppins author P.L. Travers. On first glance, the light inside Hollywood film reads as a Hitchcock meets My Week with Marilyn shrouded in a Finding Neverland literary gloss, packaged as a Disneyland commercial. Then again, the screenplay was featured in the 2010 Black List of the best unproduced screenplays, so perhaps the first sales pitch is deceiving to project of more heft.
Either way, Disney hopes this December release will be an awards contender on its own right. The supporting cast includes Rachel Griffiths, Paul Giamatti, Kathy Baker and Jason Schwartzman.