by Dana Jackson
Q: Is Hollywood seriously remaking the classic film “Mary Poppins”? Why must they remake everything? Leave well enough alone. — Aimee G., via email
A: You have about three months to prepare for the premiere of “Mary Poppins Returns,” starring Emily Blunt, but based on the trailer, it looks surprisingly good! This film is actually a sequel, not a remake, of the original “Mary Poppins,” which came out back in 1964.
Directed by Rob Marshall, the screenplay for the sequel was written by David Magee based on the original “Mary Poppins Stories” by P.L. Travers. You may remember that Emma Thompson played Travers in the biographical movie “Saving Mr. Banks” alongside Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. Travers reportedly was not happy with Disney’s interpretation of her literary character; even though it went on to win five Oscars.
In the sequel, set in Depression-era London, little Michael and Jane Banks are all grown up, and Mary returns to take care of Michael’s children after the untimely death of his wife. And if you’re wondering why Miss Poppins hasn’t aged, remember, she’s magic.
The Disney film will premiere in theaters Dec. 19 with a star-studded cast. In addition to Blunt, Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Colin Firth all have lent their talents to the musical production.
Q: I saw that John Legend is one of the rare stars to win an EGOT. How many others have there been? — Sally R., via email
A: To qualify for the elusive EGOT status, you must have won all four of the big showbiz awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Singer John Legend just achieved this by winning an Emmy as one of the producers of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” in which he also starred.
Others who can boast EGOT status are Mel Brooks, Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Mike Nichols and Scott Rudin. Rounding out the list are composers Richard Rodgers, Martin Hamlisch, Jonathan Tunick, Robert Lopez, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
Q: Is it true that Guy Pearce might become the new James Bond? Isn’t he from Australia? — Molly B., via email
A: I haven’t heard even any unfounded rumors about Guy Pearce being slated to take over the James Bond legacy from Daniel Craig, but I have to admit I’d buy tickets for that film. There were rumors that Idris Elba (“Molly’s Game”) would be next to don the tuxedo, but he told People magazine that it simply isn’t true.
As for Pearce, he grew up in Australia, but was born in England. You can see him in the series “Jack Irish” on the subscription streaming service Acorn TV. Now in its second season, “Jack Irish” is about an antihero, played by Pearce, who finds himself battling to clear his name while searching for a missing person.
Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service focusing on British and international television.
(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.