Tom Hanks To Play Walt Disney in ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

Tom HanksIt seems like a missed opportunity to call a movie Saving Mr. Banks, when it could just as appropriately be named after a far more recognizable P.L. Travers character: Saving Mary Poppins. But then again, the title could be an apology for the lack of subtlety in Disney’s film adaptation of Mary Poppins, with which author Travers took issue — her displeasure with the movie is the focus of Saving Mr. Banks, after all. Plus, the title as it stands was enough to rope in new A-list cast members Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. Still, Saving Mary Poppins seemed like a safer bet.

Alas, Saving Mr. Banks will feature Thompson as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (born Helen Lyndon Goff — but you know writers), during negotiations to sell the rights to her now iconic character to Disney for a film adaptation. Hanks will embody Walt Disney himself, probably downplaying the head-freezing and anti-Semitism, who spent 14 years trying to convince Travers to accept a business relationship with his company.

As previously noted, Saving Mr. Banks will focus on Travers’ eventual dissatisfaction with the otherwise cherished Disney movie, which suggests that the film might lean towards the promotion of artistic integrity, and the evils of selling out. The title refers to the Mary Poppins character Mr. Banks, as played by David Tomlinson in the ’64 film.

John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, The Rookie) is set to direct, despite the fact that this doesn’t appear to be a sports movie that will make you cry a little.


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