Emily Blunt
Disney have announced that their upcoming Mary Poppins sequel, starring Emily Blunt, will arrive in cinemas on Christmas Day 2018 Christopher Polk / Getty

Back in early February, it was rumoured that Disney were looking to cast Emily Blunt in an upcoming sequel to their 1964 classic Mary Poppins, and now the British actress has been confirmed for the eponymous role ahead of the project. Not only that, but the film has been given an official title and is aiming to be released in cinemas on Christmas Day 2018.

Mary Poppins Returns will see Blunt star alongside actor and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, best known for creating the hugely-successful musicals, In The Heights and Hamilton. The 36-year-old will reportedly portray a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack.

One of Disney's most treasured classics, the original Mary Poppins movie saw Julie Andrews play the titular nanny who takes over care of the two young children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family. While the pair aren't too keen on the idea at first, they are pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the magical Poppins and embark on a series of fantastical adventures with her and her Cockney chimney-sweep friend, Bert (Dick Van Dyke). As the children grow close to Poppins, the siblings try to pass on some of their nanny's sunny attitude to their unfortunately preoccupied parents (played by David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns).

Rob Marshall
Into The Woods director Rob Marshall is set to helm the picture Jason Kempin / Getty

Sources previously told Variety that the sequel will be set in Depression-era London and take place 20 years after the first film (which was set in 1910). It will take story lines straight from PL Travers' children's books that chronicled Poppins' times and adventures as a nanny with extraordinary abilities, supposedly having Poppins return to visit the now grown-up Michael Banks and his three children, as well as his older sister, Jane, after they suffer a personal loss.

Into The Woods director Rob Marshall will helm the picture, while Life Of Pi scribe David Magee will pen the screenplay. Producers John DeLuca and Marc Platt are also on board. It is currently unknown as to whether Andrews, 80, or Van Dyke, 90, will appear in some capacity.

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