Film editor Wyatt Smith admits that working on “Mary Poppins Returns” was “a little daunting” and “a little scary to be honest because you’re treading on sacred ground.” The 1964 original is “one of the most beloved, perfect movies ever made that’s stood the test of time over 50 years.” Suffice it to say that the stakes were high for this sequel. Watch our exclusive video interview with Smith above.
Directed by Rob Marshall, this followup finds the practically perfect nanny (Emily Blunt) once again teaching the Banks clan — the now grownup children Michael and Jane (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer) and Michael’s own kids — some valuable life lessons with the help of a little magic and a few catchy songs.
Though it was a technically ambitious production, Smith knew he was in good hands with Marshall. “He is so focused,” Smith explains. “He has a very, very strong vision, and way before the script is even fully fleshed out, I know that he has closed his eyes and he has watched this movie — cut for cut, note for note — in his head.” Having worked with the filmmaker several times now, Smith knows that “it’s very important to get what’s in his head on the screen, and I want to do that as quickly as possible because then we can do the work.”
Smith previously worked with Marshall on “Nine” (2009), “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (2011), “Into the Woods” (2014) and the TV special “Tony Bennett: An American Classic” (2006), for which he received an Emmy nomination. He also competed at the Critics Choice Awards for “Nine” and at the ACE Eddie Awards for “Into the Woods.”
The original “Mary Poppins” was an Oscar juggernaut, contending in 13 categories including Best Picture. It won five of those bids, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews and Best Film Editing. Will the sequel recapture that awards magic? “Mary Poppins Returns” arrives in theaters on December 19.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.