Tori Amos To Play Mary Poppins
Tue Apr 1, 12:00 AM UTC/GMT
HONG KONG (AP) Sony Pictures announces today that songstress Tori Amos has been cast as the lead in their modern adaptation of the 1964 Walt Disney production, Mary Poppins. Amos will play the magical, musical nanny who brings a breath of fresh air into the stuffy Banks household in turn-of-the-century England.
In the wake of her latest album, "Scarlet's Walk," a sonic novel of sorts which takes the listener on an aural journey of America's recent and not-so-recent past, the faerie-goddess singer/songwriter has been dropping hints in recent interviews that her next project will be a musical inspired by her daughter's love of Mary Poppins. In this case, literally. "I adore musicals. When I was in my twenties I never dreamt that I would still be watching Mary Poppins at 39, because you think that you have to reject childish things in order to find who you really are. But then I grew up, and discovered that it is okay - song and dance routines really do work!," says Amos.
Overstuffed with gaiety, this children's fantasy is filled to the brim with wonderful dance numbers and outrageous songs (such as the seemingly unpronounceable "Supercalifragilisticexpialidoc ious"). Amos admits, "Tim Rice (EVITA) said something to me and got me thinking... I have been enjoying the soundtrack. A Spoonful of Sugar is amazing. It says something very profound about the power of the song that it meant something to me as a child in 1965 and still means a lot to me today." The songs will be entirely co-written and produced by Tori Amos and Tim Rice, scheduled for recording at Martian Studios in Cornwall, England.
On tap to pen the screenplay is Moulin Rouge's wunderkind Baz Luhrmann. Luc Besson (THE FIFTH ELEMENT; THE MESSENGER), reknown for his jaw dropping visuals, is slated to direct. The film will also feature Emma Watson (HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS) and Daryl Sabara (SPY KIDS) as Jane and Michael Banks. The most oft named actor in the early running for the male lead is Ewan McGregor (MOULIN ROUGE), with Rupert Everett (MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING) close behind. A dark horse, Kenneth Branagh (HAMLET) closes up the shortlist as the unlikely but dashing male-lead, Bert. Filming has not yet been scheduled.
The movie industry has been eager for Amos to grace the screens: Amos makes a cameo appearance as a wedding singer in the soon-to-be-released Mona Lisa Smile (2003), a story of a free-spirited Berkeley graduate in 1953 who takes a position as a teacher at the women's college. Amos is currently embarking on a headlining tour of the United States this spring and summer.