British actress Ruth Wilson has joined the cast of “Saving Mr. Banks”, Disney’s biopic of author P.L. Travers, most famous for penning “Mary Poppins”, which ultimately was adapted into one of Disney’s most beloved films. Emma Thompson plays Travers in the film, with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and Colin Farrell are also part of the impressive ensemble cast.
John Lee Hancock will direct the film about Disney’s “14-year courtship of the Australian author for the film rights to the Poppins character, played by Julie Andrews in the 1964 classic.” Travers afterwards expressed public disdain for the film – particularly its animated sequences – and refused to sell the studio the rights to the original book’s seven sequels. Kelly Marcel wrote the script. Wilson and Farrell play Travers’ parents in flashback sequences, while Giamatti will play her chauffeur and Schwartzman Richard Morton Sherman, who wrote several of Disney’s most enduring songs, including many included in “Mary Poppins” the film.
Wilson, a veteran of British TV who earned a Golden Globe nomination in her acting debut as “Jane Eyre” in a BBC miniseries in 2006 and is perhaps most well known for her role on hit British crime series “Luther” opposite Idris Elba, is currently filming Disney’s redo of “The Lone Ranger” opposite Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. She’s also part of the ensemble cast of Joe Wright’s highly experimental and highly anticipated adaptation of “Anna Karenina”, which was just recently announced to be heading to the Toronto International Film Festival.