John Lee Hancock is in very early talks to direct “Saving Mr. Banks” with Walt Disney Pictures. Hancock last directed 2009’s “The Blind Side.” His other credited films included “The Alamo,” and “The Rookie.”
According to Deadline, Disney is close acquiring the Black List script, which is about the long ordeal of acquiring the movie rights from Australian author P.L Travers to make the 1964 Disney classic film. Travers was very reluctant to have the film made due to personal ties with the story, but Disney finally convinced her to change her mind. During and after the production, she continued to express dissatisfaction with the film. She hated the animated sequences in “Mary Poppins” that she refused to sell any more works to Disney.
“Mary Poppins starred Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson (Tomlinson played Mr. Banks in the film). Andrews won the Academy Award for Best Actress and the movie won Oscars for Best Film Editing, Original Music Score, Best Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and Best Visual Effects.
Deadline also reported a few names are circling the project including Tom Hanks to play Walt Disney and Meryl Streep to play Travers.
The “Saving Mr. Banks” script is set up with producer Alison Owen of Ruby Films. Walt Disney Pictures plan to start production on this project later this year.