Mary Poppins Returns filmed on UK stages
Mary Poppins Returns recreated classic setting Cherry Tree Lane at Shepperton Studios.
Directed by Rob Marshall, the film is set in 1930s London, two decades after the events of the 1964 original movie, and tells a new story of Emily Blunt's Mary Poppins revisiting Cherry Tree Lane to help the now grown-up siblings Michael and Jane Banks.
Production occupied eight of Shepperton’s 14 stages. Cherry Tree Lane was built over 18 weeks on the 30,000 sq ft H Stage.
The various rooms of the Banks' home were among the interiors put up on the 12,000 sq ft D Stage.
An abandoned park set used as the setting for the film’s biggest musical number Trip A Little Light Fantastic – lasting eight minutes of screen-time – needed a full 26-week build period and involved constructing a five-storey set that included a bridge and a greenhouse.
Exteriors for this sequence were shot at Middle Temple in central London, utilising the location’s cobblestones, urban archways and tunnels.
The Mary Poppins name helped the production team access a selection of iconic central London locations for the film’s non-studio elements.
“We shot all over central London at most of [the city’s] most iconic locations,” says Ali James, the film’s supervising location manager, in comments to The Knowledge.
“From the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace, the streets of Westminster [and] the streets of Shoreditch, it is a who’s who of pre-war London locations.
“[We tried to avoid] too many large builds [and] tried to choose streets and locations that were the most untouched by modernity so all we had to do was to hide modern signs and street dressing.
“We did remove a lot of street furniture, from traffic lights to bollards and what we did not learn about London gaslights is not worth knowing!”
Mary Poppins Returns is just one high-profile entry in Disney’s catalogue of classic remakes to be based in the UK. Among the recent visitors, Guy Ritchie used Longcross Studios as a base for a live-action remake of Aladdin and Tim Burton’s upcoming Dumbo filmed at Pinewood Studios.
Disney’s subsidiary Lucasfilm has used Pinewood Studios as a long-term base for the new Star Wars films, while Marvel – also owned by Disney – most recently shot Spider-Man: Far From Home at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.
Image: Walt Disney Enterprises
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