Production is now underway on one of the most anticipated films of 2013, Saving Mr. Banks. The film focuses on the almost decade-and-a-half long struggle by Walt Disney to acquire the film rights to P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins book series.
Academy Award winner Tom Hanks, who already has a link to Disney, providing the voice of Woody in the Toy Story franchise, has the unenviable task of portraying the immortal Walt Disney on screen for the first time ever. Fellow Academy Award winner Emma Thompson will play Travers, with supporting roles being played by Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, with Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak as the musical Sherman brothers. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) is directing from a script by Kelly Marcel.
Hanks spoke briefly to The Hollywood Reporter about Walt Disney and his preparation for the role. Asked whether it would be a "warts and all" portrayal, the Forrest Gump star said:
“He wasn’t a warty guy. There was the labor issues that were in the forties and stuff like that. But by and large, no.” With THR adding 'A three-pack-a-day smoker, Disney died of lung cancer in 1966 and Hanks said he would chain smoke his way through the movie, but that’s about as close as the production will get to any controversy or conjecture surrounding the iconic animator.'
This is fast becoming one of my most anticipated films of 2013. Saving Mr. Banks arrives in cinemas on 20th December, 2013.