Casting is underway for feature drama Saving Mr Banks, which has already attracted a stellar line-up including Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell.
The film is about the Australian creator of Mary Poppins, P.L Travers (played by Emma Thompson) and her childhood years growing up in rural Queensland, which were pivotal in shaping the memorable characters and storylines of the children’s film and literary classic. Hanks stars as Walt Disney and Farrell as Travers' alcoholic father. Other actors who have reportedly joined the cast include B.J. Novak, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and Ruth Wilson.
Saving Mr Banks will be directed by John Lee Hancock (writer-director of the Academy Award-winning The Blind Side and writer of Snow White and the Huntsman) while Sue Smith (Bastard Boys, Brides of Christ) and Kelly Marcel have written the screenplay.
The film is being produced by Walt Disney Pictures, UK-based independent production house Ruby Films (Elizabeth, The Other Boleyn Girl), and Australia's Essential Media & Entertainment. Disney is likely to distribute the film in Australia (although Hopscotch Features' Troy Lum and Andrew Mason are executive producing). The production was originally slated to be an Australian-UK co-production before Disney ramped up its involvement.
Saving Mr Banks is expected to be predominately shot in in California (including the Australian-based elements) with only a few days shooting scheduled for Queensland, Australia.