One of the big rising stars in today’s pop culture-sphere is hot off the heels of his highly successful musical, Hamilton. Before this year, Lin-Manuel Miranda wasn’t a name most mainstream audiences knew. Yes, the singer/songwriter/actor had already been in his fair share of productions, films, and TV shows, but as far as a recognizable asset, he wasn’t quite there yet.
Now, things have all changed. In addition to Hamilton, Miranda seems to have nurtured a pretty profitable relationship with Disney, helping J.J. Abrams to create the new cantina song for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and more recently working on the Moana soundtrack. In addition to those films, he’s also signed on to the film Mary Poppins Returns, a continuation of the story told in the original classic musical.
Speaking with Variety, Miranda discussed the upcoming film, clarifying that it is not a remake:
â€œItâ€™s a straight up sequel. Michael and Jane Banks have grown up, and they find themselves in their own spot, and Mary Poppins comes back to take care of Michaelâ€™s kids. I play a lamplighter named Jack who sort of grew up apprenticing to Bert. So I know if Mary Poppins shows up, itâ€™s gonna get awesome. I perform that function in the movie, of saying: â€˜Yâ€™all donâ€™t know about Mary Poppins. When Maryâ€™s around, cool s*** happens.'”
And in regards to the original film:
â€œThat movie is everyoneâ€™s childhood. Mine too. Although I never got through â€˜Tuppenceâ€™ [the song â€˜Feed the Birdsâ€™], because that lady made me so sad that I would burst into tears. It took me a long time to actually see the end of the movie.â€
As mentioned above, Miranda is in the middle of a great working relationship with the House of Mouse — and it’s probably no coincidence that he grew up geeking out on the animated musicals from Disney’s Renaissance in the 1990s.
â€œI feel really lucky that I was a kid when they went on that run of animated musicals, starting with The Little Mermaid. Not just animated movies, animated musicals. Howard Ashman [the late writer-lyricist of Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin] figured out, â€˜Oh my God, I can make even better musicals under this system than I can Off Broadway.â€™ I have never been more transported in my life than when â€˜Under the Seaâ€™ first started when I was nine years old. I said, â€˜I cannot believe what is happening to me,â€™ and that feeling of vertigo in a movie theater. Something Iâ€™ve been chasing ever since. To be part of that legacy, and then Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King, it was just this incredible run that happened when I was ages 9 to 14. Itâ€™s very formative to me. Iâ€™m thrilled to be a part of that tradition.â€
Indeed every so often Disney falls into a slump, and in the late-1990s through the 2000s, Disney was in quite the slump. Since then, however, following change in leadership and the intelligent acquisitions of such companies as Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, it almost seems like every single property the conglomerate gets their hands on turns to gold.
Should this tradition continue, I’m sure Miranda will continue to play a large role in that a well.
What do you think of Miranda’s comments? Let us know in the comments down below!