Starring Jason Schwartzman as Richard Sherman, and B.J. Novak as Robert Sherman. My apologies if this has already been posted. I have no idea if SAVING MR. BANKS will be any good -- I suppose we'll find out this Christmas -- but I do get a kick out of film composers being portrayed in popular media!
For the sake of comparison (and for those of you with slow connections):
The casting of Hanks as Uncle Walt and Thompson as Travers both seem inspired, though not necessarily from a "looks" perspective. This Novak actor looks nothing like the Sherman brother he's meant to resemble, though. I think Jimmy Kimmel might have made a better Richard Sherman than Schwartzman, though Schwartzman is an actual professional musician -- I wonder if that figured into his casting at all?
I usually don't care for Jason Schwartzman, but this movie looks rather charming, and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney is inspired casting. (Disney seems regularly accused of self-promotion, but in most cases it's just haters hating.)
I don't really see many non-action/adventure type movies at the theaters these days, because with the cost of ticket prices I want to try and get the most bang for my buck. But the trailer for this one looks promising, so I may have to see it when it comes out.
No mention at IMDB of a "Jack Warner" character among the cast (did I miss it?). This might mean one of my favorite anecdotes about the making of "Poppins" might not be included. Warner famously passed over Julie Andrews for the role she'd created onstage in the smash "My Fair Lady." When he made the film, he opted instead for the proven movie star Audrey Hepburn. This worked out just fine at the box office, but it's always been a famous "what-if" in movie history -- which I believe to be one of the main reasons Cameron Mackintosh would even consider remaking the multiple-Oscar-winning "Best Picture of 1964" (though I haven't heard any news on that project lately.) Disney saw Andrews onstage in "Camelot" and was impressed enough to cast her in her film debut, for which she won a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Some believe these awards to have been a backhanded slap at Warner (and perhaps also, unfairly, at Hepburn herself; it was common knowledge that some of her singing in MFL had been dubbed). I actually like Andrews' "Poppins" portrayal very much. She managed to give it a slight edge which, to me, suggested a possible sinister undertone to her magical abilities. Sure, she's mostly sweetness and light, but you don't dare mess with her!
The brouhaha led to one of the snarkiest Golden Globe acceptance speeches ever made:
Years later, Hepburn happened to run into Andrews and took the opportunity to apologize, which Andrews assured her was completely unnecessary. Hepburn explained sweetly, "I didn't have the courage to say 'no'" to the role.
Thor GREAT photo of you two. I never saw that before. AWESOME shot! Richard is one of those guys you just want to hug. Such a kind humble sweet man. I'm eternally grateful I got SUCH a legend at the Fans of Film Music event last year. I'm still shocked actually.
The actors playing Richard and Robert, I don't think they look like them at all, maybe they were more interested in getting some names that some folks know, but maybe since us film score folks know what they look like were more judgmental. I would imagine the average public doesn't know what they look like. Can't wait to see the film though!
Here's a nifty excerpt from HitFix's report from D23, where clips from the film were shown:
BJ Novak and Jason Schwartzman come out after the clip to talk about playing the Sherman Brothers. Novak: "One of the incredible things about doing the movie was getting to meet Richard Sherman and to go through the songs with him and to imagine what that would have been like to come up with those."
I feel like you could have done an entire film just about the Sherman Brothers, and that's definitely one of the things I'm most excited about with this movie, and Jason says he learned how to play these songs on the piano directly from Richard Sherman, so he could pick up his phrasing and the way he would build a melody. It sounds like it was an amazing process, and Jason talked about how Sherman is a really good "winker."
"It's like a bigger high-five," Jason said.
Bailey talks about how surreal it was to stage the "Mary Poppins" premiere and to stand next to Dick Sherman watching the event unfold.
The final clip is a story conference with PL Travers, the Shermans, and Whitford sitting at a table, discussing the script and casting. Travers tries to convey her horror at the idea of Dick Van Dyke playing any part in the film, and when they start to sing to Travers so she can get a sense of the music, the look on her face is pure confusion. It's apparent that they have nothing in common creatively with her, and as the clip ended, a piano comes out from backstage, with Novak and Schwartzman singing "Let's Go Fly A Kite" live.
I've written before about how much "Poppins" means to me, and despite knowing full well that this is an event designed to hype a movie, watching Richard Sherman walk out to join them and get a standing ovation was genuinely emotional. His music is a huge part of our pop culture, and I'm glad he is alive to see his efforts captured in this way.
Gradually, the number got bigger and bigger, with costumed characters running in to fly kites around the inside of the arena. And there onstage, Schwartzman played with all the flair he could muster, the real Dick Sherman right there beside him. A gorgeous conclusion.