So Tom Hanks will be in a movie whose first word is “saving” and Paul Giamatti will be in it too. No, it’s not Saving Private Ryan (although I applaud your educated guess), but it is in fact a Walt Disney biopic during the crucial moments of making Mary Poppins (quite different from Saving Private Ryan, now isn’t it?). Set to come out sometime in 2014, the film surely has many people wondering about what can be with Walt Disney’s imagination and reputation.
The movie will follow Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) in his 20+ year ordeal in trying to attain the rights to Mary Poppins by author P.J. Travers (Emma Thompson). Since the actual Mary Poppins story is a sort of autobiographical story between Travers and her father (played by Colin Farrell in the film), it was the main reason why the real Walt Disney had such a hard time securing the rights to the novel. Rachel Griffiths will play the inspiration for Mary Poppins, Travers’ aunt.
The movie itself will be a frame narrative type of movie, where Disney will meet Travers, and Travers will have flashbacks of her past while the story is moving along. The synopsis of the film will be, “When Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Disney’s desire to bring her beloved character to the motion picture screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario’s concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past. During her stay in California, Travers’ reflects back on her childhood in 1906 Australia, a trying time for her family which not only molded her aspirations to write, but one that also inspired the characters in her 1934 book.
None more so than the one person whom she loved and admired more than any other—her caring father, Travers Goff, a tormented banker who, before his untimely death that same year, instills the youngster with both affection and enlightenment (and would be the muse for the story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks, the sole character that the famous nanny comes to aide). While reluctant to grant Disney the film rights, Travers comes to realize that the acclaimed Hollywood storyteller has his own motives for wanting to make the film—which, like the author, hints at the relationship he shared with his own father in the early 20th Century Midwest.”
Also, a quote was recently said in which, “Then there’s the monologue. When I say ‘the monologue,’ I mean the best ending monologue I’ve maybe ever read in a screenplay…Walt then gives the most heartfelt convincing thoughtful meaningful plea as to why Pamela should give him the rights to the book. It’s so moving and so TRUE, that it grips your heart and won’t let go…It was just such a great final moment for this character and without question, the reason Tom Hanks signed on.”
So while we know that Walt Disney eventually gets Travers to give him the rights to the story, it does seem to be an interesting idea that really hasn’t been made. The movie does get a lot of hype from Walt Disney and Mary Poppins fans, but many believe that’s all it will apply too- since not that many might want to go see a movie about a author’s life. And personally, I believe David Strathairn looks a lot like Walt Disney than Tom Hanks would. Just watch L.A. Confidential, where Strathairn is Pierce Patchett, alongside Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Guy Pierce. For now, enjoy this very famous word- and its movie origin.