VARIETY – Principal photography has commenced on Walt Disney Studio’s “Mary Poppins Returns” at the U.K.’s Shepperton Studios, Disney announced Friday. The much-anticipated sequel to Disney’s 1964 classic “Mary Poppins” stars Emily Blunt as the eponymous magical nanny created by author P.L. Travers, taking over the role from Oscar-winner Julie Andrews.

The sequel co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. Young actors Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and Joel Dawson play the three new Banks children. The original film’s co-star, Dick Van Dyke, who is 91, is also set to appear.

Rob Marshall directs the film from a screenplay by David Magee, and also serves as producer alongside John DeLuca and Marc Platt. Tony Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman have written new songs for the film, with Shaiman also composing the original score.

Set in Depression-era London of the 1930s, “Mary Poppins Returns” sees Michael and Jane Banks (Whishaw and Mortimer) now grown up. After Michael suffers a personal loss, Mary Poppins re-enters the lives of the Banks family and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Labels: Mary Poppins Returns, Projects

I’ve updated the gallery with screen captures from the Blu-ray edition of The Girl on the Train–including special features from the disc. Emily gives a powerhouse performance as Rachel Watson, a woman struggling to overcome an her addiction and inner demons that stem from her divorce and inability to fall pregnant. Her life becomes even more complicated when she finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. The film itself is flawed, yet still enjoyable, and it’s a shame that her work has been largely overlooked during awards season due to the mixed critical response towards the film. I hope you enjoy the screen captures, and just a warning for those that haven’t watched yet, they do contain spoilers.


Labels: Movies, Photo Updates, Projects, The Girl on the Train

Many congratulations to Emily, who has received a BAFTA nomination for her excellent work in The Girl on the Train. The list of nominations were announced early this morning in London, and marks Emily’s first nomination from the academy since 2007, when she was shortlisted for the Rising Star Award and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in The Devil Wears Prada. It’s great to see her performance receive the attention it deserves, even if the film itself wasn’t well-received. You can view the full list of nominations here.

Amy Adams, Arrival
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Natalie Portman, Jackie

Labels: Awards and Nominations, Projects, The Girl on the Train

THE WRAP – In June, news broke that Emily Blunt would not star in the upcoming sequel to “Sicario” titled “Soldado,” and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has a simple explanation for it.

“That was my decision, and at some point I’m going to have to talk to her about it,” Sheridan said in a recent interview for TheWrap Magazine. “Her arc was complete … I couldn’t figure out a way to write a character that would do her talent justice.”

He added, “Look what she went through. It was a difficult role. Here I write this lead character and then I use her as a surrogate for the audience. I make her completely passive against her own will so the audience feels the same impotence that a lot of law enforcement officers feel, I drag her through hell, and betray her in the end. It was an arduous journey for the character, and for Emily. That character had arc,” Sheridan said.

“Sicario” also starred Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin (who are returning for the sequel) and followed FBI agent Kate Macer (Blunt), enlisted by a government task force to bring down a Mexican cartel. The film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Sound Editing at the 2015 Oscars. When the sequel was announced, it was also revealed that Denis Villeneuve would not return to direct and would be replaced by Stefano Sollima.

“What do you do next? She moves to some little town and becomes a sheriff and then gets kidnapped and then we have ‘Taken?’” he joked about Blunt’s role. “I had to tell the story that was true to this role, and I didn’t feel like I could create something with that character that would further that world that would do Emily’s character justice. That said, there could be room for Kate somewhere else down the road.”

“Soldado” is looking at a 2017 release.

Labels: Projects, Sicario Sequel

Labels: Projects, The Girl on the Train, Videos

I’ve updated the gallery with some newly released stills and a behind the scenes photo from The Girl on the Train–all of which are available to view in high-resolution. Enjoy!

Labels: Photo Updates, Projects, The Girl on the Train

NEW YORK TIMES – Emily Blunt’s metamorphosis into Rachel Watson, the physically ravaged, emotionally shattered alcoholic in “The Girl on the Train” (out Oct. 7) burrowed deeper than a mere Hollywood make-under.

“I don’t have an addictive personality whatsoever, so it was like wearing somebody else’s skin,” Ms. Blunt said of portraying the New York City suburbanite obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple she glimpses each day on her soused commute — just two doors down from where her ex-husband lives with his new wife and baby. And when her fantasy woman goes missing in this feverishly anticipated adaptation of the Paula Hawkins literary sensation, Rachel, her memory failing, fears she is responsible.

“As alien as this person is to who I truly am, I had to understand her and empathize and get into that mind-set,” Ms. Blunt added. “The thing I found most helpful was watching ‘Intervention’ on a loop until I had seen every type of addiction in action.”

Since snap-snapping her fingers into stardom as Miranda Priestly’s senior assistant in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Ms. Blunt has revealed an impressive range, veering from an alien-battling warrior in “Edge of Tomorrow” to the barren Baker’s Wife in the screen musical “Into the Woods” to an F.B.I. agent stalking a Mexican drug cartel in “Sicario.”

Offscreen, she’s the mother of 2½-year-old Hazel and 3-month-old Violet, her daughters with her husband, John Krasinski. In a phone interview from their Brooklyn home, the London-born, crisply funny Ms. Blunt, 33, talked about filming while pregnant and life with another actor. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Were you a fan of the book before you took on the role?

I was determined not to read the book initially because I saw everyone else and their auntie reading it. Then the producer called me and said, “We’re really interested in you for it, and do you want to have a read and see what you think?” I could quickly see why it became the phenomenon that it did. These domestic thrillers are quite tantalizing for readers. You can see yourself in these people. And that idea of danger being close to home is exciting.

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Labels: Articles and Interviews, Projects, The Girl on the Train