Scoring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell for your film would leave most people satisfied. But not John Lee Hancock, oh no. For his new based-on-truth drama Saving Mr Banks, he’s continuing to add interesting names to the cast, with Paul Giamatti, Ruth Wilson and Jason Schwartzman all taking roles.
Banks charts Walt Disney (Hanks)’s 14-year-attempt to convince Mary Poppins author PL Travers (Thompson) to let him make a film based on her famous nanny character.
The quest was not an easy one, as Travers was dedicated to making sure Poppins got treated properly, born as she was from the hardships that Travers faced in her life. Key to that was the death of her father (Farrell). Obviously, she eventually capitulated but reportedly hated the finished film.
Giamatti will be playing Ralph, the chauffeur who drives Travers around when she is brought to Los Angeles as part of Disney’s campaign. Wilson is set to appear alongside Farrell in flashbacks as Travers’ mother. And Schwartzman, who is no stranger to music given his time spent in bands, is on as legendary songwriter Richard Morton Sherman, who wrote tunes for the likes of Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Jungle Book, as well as inflicting the endlessly repeated It’s A Small World theme park song on the planet.
Hancock is looking to get to work on the movie this September, working from a script by Sue Smith and Kelly Marcel.