Sorry, Bedknobs and Brooksticks fans. There won’t be a revival of the classic 1971 Disney film – at least one that includes its star Angela Lansbury.
Lansbury, who portrayed Miss Eglantine Price, a witch who used her powers to stop the Nazis and end World War II in musical fantasy, was asked Monday if she was working on a remake at a press conference for the upcoming digital release Might be interested in Mary Poppins Returns.
Lansbury, featured in the sequel, made a surprise appearance at the event that was billed as a question and answer to the film’s director, Rob Marshall.
“Bedknobs and Broomsticks? No. I think it’s … no, absolutely not,” Lansbury explained, making the crowd at Disney Studios in Burbank, California burst out laughing. “It was fun. It was nice to do. It was my introduction to Disney.”
The questioner had pointed out that Mary Poppins Returns is just one current example of the studio’s series of revivals and remakes. Others include Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and the upcoming Lion King.
Of course, Disney may not need Lansbury if it chooses to repeat Bedknobs. Julie Andrews, who starred in the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins, did not appear in the sequel, in which Emily Blunt appeared as the magical nanny she emerged from – although Dick Van Dyke, who portrayed the chimney sweep Bert, returned for his Repeat role as the banker, Mr. Dawes.
Marshall, who first worked with Lansbury in the vacation film Mrs. Santa Claus, hailed the five-time Tony Award-winning actress as an “original” that was hard to replace.
“Everything Angela does is icon to me, and it’s almost impossible to see anyone else do it,” Marshall said. “How many women do you know and great actors do you know who are character and lead actresses at the same time? It just doesn’t happen.”
“She is my heroine and there is no one like her. The word original is thrown around too much, but this woman is an original,” he said.
Lansbury and Marshall appeared to be promoting the home entertainment release of Mary Poppins Returns, which will be available digitally on March 12th and on DVD / Blu-ray on March 19th. The release includes behind-the-scenes footage of the actors taking to the air on the music scene for “Nowhere to Go But Up,” in which Lansbury portrays the balloon lady helping them fly.
Check out a clip from the following scene.