Saving Mr Banks, which sees Disney chronicling how one of its own enduring classics came to be, is hitting the casting agencies hard to draw in a leading crew. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson are already aboard, and they could soon be joined by Colin Farrell, who is in talks to sign on.
John Lee Hancock is directing the film, which charts Walt Disney (Hanks)’s 14-year attempt to convince author PL Travers (Thompson) to let him make a film of her Mary Poppins stories. The tale of the magical nanny was close to Travers’ heart, as it was born from the hardships she faced in her own life, including the death of her father at the age of seven.
Of course, she did eventually agree to sell the rights, but despite audiences embracing the result, Travers reportedly loathed the animated sequences so much that she bluntly refused to let Disney near any of her other work.
If he hatches a deal, Farrell will be playing the elder Travers, who is the inspiration for Mr Banks in the Poppins tale. It’ll be quite a change from some of his recent work, especially after last year's bad-guys fest (Horrible Bosses, Fright Night). Farrell is currently shooting the thriller Dead Man Down and will show up in Total Recall (August 29), Seven Psychopaths and Winter’s Tale.