Mary Poppins Returns: First look at Emily Blunt as magical nanny

The first photo of Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins has been released ahead of the return of the magical nanny in a new film.

Blunt, 33, is replacing Julie Andrews in the title role in the follow-up to the 1964 film, Mary Poppins Returns, which is due to be released on Christmas Day 2018.

In a photo uploaded to Instagram by Disney, Blunt is pictured wearing a dark blue coat and pink hat.

She is also clutching her trademark patterned handbag, but is missing her signature parrot-topped umbrella.

The film - based on PL Travers' famous character - tells the story of an older Jane and Michael Banks and Michael's three children, who are visited by Poppins in the aftermath of a "personal loss" in Depression-hit London.

Dick Van Dyke, who starred as chimney sweep Burt in the original movie, has confirmed he will appear in the sequel.

The new movie will also star Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, and Lin-Manuel Miranda who will play street lamplighter Jack.

Rob Marshall, whose previous work includes Chicago and Into The Woods, will be directing the film.

London-born Blunt has most recently been seen in the thriller The Girl On The Train .