The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock has a new movie in the works, and it’s got an interesting twist. It’s called Saving Mr. Banks, and it’s about how Walt Disney himself obtained the rights to Mary Poppins from that book’s author, P.L. Travers. It’s a crazy story because Disney courted Travers for the rights to turn her book into a movie for 14 years before she finally gave in. The script was recently on the Black List as one of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, and now Deadline is reporting that Tom Hanks is in talks to play the role of Walt Disney in the film.
Kelly Marcel wrote the script, which has attracted all kinds of big names so far. Hanks was rumored to be interested a few months back, but now those conversations are getting a bit more serious. Meryl Streep was also eyeing the female lead of P.L. Travers, but now Disney is in discussions with Emma Thompson to play that role. Hanks and Thompson are perhaps two of the most beloved actors working in the industry today, so I think most movie fans would consider it a joy to watch them work together.
In real life, Travers apparently despised the animated sequences in Mary Poppins so much that she refused to work with Disney again on any other projects, but those same sequences are arguably what made that film so successful upon its release back in 1964.
This story could be considered a bit too “insidery” for the general public, but with such heavy hitters involved, I’m sure they won’t have any trouble bringing people in to see this story in theaters. What do you think about the idea of Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney?