In recent years, Emily Blunt has proven herself to be quite the singer, in addition to her resume as an actress. She made her mark on the Disney world first with her work in Rob Marshall's Into the Woods, and she will soon reunite with him for the upcoming release of Mary Poppins Returns. Speaking with CinemaBlend and other outlets during a visit to the film's set last year, Blunt opened up and explained that the fact that Mary Poppins Returns has an entirely original soundtrack has actually made this process quite easy for her. Blunt explained:
To be a person to birth some of these songs has been such a huge honor. I think I felt less pressure approaching it in this way than I would doing an adaptation of something that's been done before, because it's not comparative. You've only got songs that have effectively been catered to me, and what my ability is. So in that way, it's an incredibly collaborative experience and one that I was invited into, but I think these songs, even though you have not heard them before, there's something about the music that feels familiar. I think that's always the sign of a great song.
So, unlike her previous work in the Disney realm, Emily Blunt is working with songs designed for Emily Blunt. The team behind the music has catered the original compositions in Mary Poppins Returns to match her own talents and abilities as a singer, so she has far more comfort knowing that they're designed to sound like they're made for her. That said, Blunt is also simply a huge fan of the songs, which means that they already sound iconic and familiar to her ears.
By contrast, Into the Woods was an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name. The film used songs specifically taken from the stage play, meaning they were not explicitly intended for Blunt and her own musical style.
Of course, this is all helped by the fact that Emily Blunt specifically made minimal effort to emulate the work of those who came before you. Elsewhere during that discussion about her portrayal of the titular character in Mary Poppins Returns, Blunt opened up and noted that she actually made a point to avoid watching the original Mary Poppins in an effort to not emulate anything that Julie Andrews had done with her take on the character.
Those original songs and Emily Blunt's updated take on Mary Poppins will hit the big screen later this year when Mary Poppins Returns debuts onDecember 19. Watch out for the long-awaited sequel to the beloved classic when it finally premieres, and while you're waiting for the film to come out, make sure to head over to our movie premiere guide to learn more about 2018's biggest release dates!