‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Begins Production in Los Angeles

Over the past few months, we’ve been letting you know about some of the exciting casting choices for Disney’s upcoming drama Saving Mr. Banks. Now, we’re excited to let you know that this highly anticipated film has finally begun production.

Disney announced this week that Saving Mr. Banks began production last Wednesday in Los Angeles. The film focuses on Disney’s 20-year-long process of acquiring the rights to Mary Poppins from its uptight author P.L. Travers, and the testy relationship that develops between her and Walt Disney. When Travers travels to Hollywood during Mary Poppins‘ pre-production period in 1961, her desire for contractual control over the script and characters before signing away the rights puts her at odds with Disney and his original vision for the film, as well as screenwriter Don DaGradi and songwriting team Richard and Robert Sherman.

Here’s a little bit more about the film’s plot from Disney’s official press release:

When Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Disney’s desire to bring her beloved character to the motion picture screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario’s concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past.  During her stay in California, Travers’ reflects back on her childhood in 1906 Australia, a trying time for her family which not only molded her aspirations to write, but one that also inspired the characters in her 1934 book.

None more so than the one person whom she loved and admired more than any other—her caring father, Travers Goff, a tormented banker who, before his untimely death that same year, instills the youngster with both affection and enlightenment (and would be the muse for the story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks, the sole character that the famous nanny comes to aide).  While reluctant to grant Disney the film rights, Travers comes to realize that the acclaimed Hollywood storyteller has his own motives for wanting to make the film—which, like the author, hints at the relationship he shared with his own father in the early 20th Century Midwest.

The film will star Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers, with Jason Schwartzmann and B.J. Novak as Richard and Robert Sherman, respectively. The cast will also include Colin Farell as Travers’ father, Bradley Whitford as Don DaGradi, and Paul Giamatti as Ralph, Travers’ limousine driver in Hollywood. Saving Mr. Banks is directed by John Lee Hancock, with a screenplay by Kelly Marcel.

Production for Saving Mr. Banks will take place entirely in the Los Angeles area, with filming locations to include Disneyland and the Disney Studios in Burbank. Filming for the film will conclude this November, and the film will be released in 2013, with a specific release date yet to be announced. Stay tuned for more news about this exciting new film.


Leave a Reply