Mary Poppins 3: Director Rob Marshall is keen to explore sequel with Emily Blunt

The director of The Little Mermaid is keen to re-team with Disney for a third Mary Poppins film

Emily Blunt receives instructions from director Rob Marshall on the set of <i>Mary Poppins Returns</i>. (Disney)
Emily Blunt receives instructions from director Rob Marshall on the set of Mary Poppins Returns. (Disney)

The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall says he's keen to revisit the world of Mary Poppins after the success of 2018's Mary Poppins Returns.

Critics and viewers alike were pleasantly surprised by the Mary Poppins sequel which reintroduced fans to the world of the magical nanny more than 50 years after the iconic Disney original starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

The whimsical tale saw Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) come back into the lives of siblings Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane Banks (Emily Mortimer) and help them, and Michael's children, find their joy again.

Read more: Alan Menken shares his thoughts on returning to The Little Mermaid remake

Before it was released, there were questions around how Disney could possibly follow up one of its most iconic musicals. But director Rob Marshall made the impossible happen, and he tells Yahoo UK he’s ready to do it again.

When asked about the possibility of making a third film, The Little Mermaid director says: “I would, actually, because there are so many books. P.L. Travers wrote eight books altogether and so there's a lot of material to work from and that's why it was fun to sort of re-imagine and create a sequel.”

Emily Blunt is Mary Poppins in <i>Mary Poppins Returns</i> (Disney)
Emily Blunt is Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns. (Disney)

Travers first began writing the series in 1934, and the author’s work featured three novels and five books of short stories in total.

Walt Disney pursued the rights to Travers’ series after his daughters requested he adapt them, but it took almost two decades for him to convince the author to agree to a deal – a story recreated in the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

Read more: The Sound Of Music's von Trapp children reunite as Julie Andrews gets award

Ultimately, the author hated Disney’s adaptation and a second film was unable to get off the ground for years, and it was only in 2015 that a sequel was finally approved by her estate.

Julie Andrews, as Mary Poppins, and Dick Van Dyke, as Bert, in scene from the 40th anniversary edition of the Disney DVD, Los Angeles, photo
Julie Andrews, as Mary Poppins, and Dick Van Dyke, as Bert in Mary Poppins. (Alamy)

The sequel features a soundtrack by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and it was this part of the production that makes Marshall want to return to the franchise, because of the creative freedom he had making an original musical rather than adapting one like Chicago or Into the Woods.

Read more: The Little Mermaid cast says changes were made to reflect 'diversity and inclusion'

“What I loved about it too was writing an original musical, it's kind of wonderful to write directly for film,” he says.

“You know, a lot of the time I'm taking a stage piece and having to re-interpret it for film, but when you write for film it's like the golden age of musicals, that's what they used to do and it's the best.

“So yes, the answer is 'yes', I'd be very interested in exploring it because I love that world, I love the character, and I love Emily Blunt.”

In 2019, Marshall told The Sun a sequel to Mary Poppins Returns was in the 'early stages' of development.

Mary Poppins and Mary Poppins Returns are available to watch on Disney+, and The Little Mermaid will be released in cinemas and IMAX on Friday, 26 May.

Watch a bonus clip from Mary Poppins Returns