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Tom Hanks to Play Walt Disney in New Film "Saving Mister Banks"

By Dexter Keyton, EnStars
on Sep 19, 2012 04:38 PM EDT
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  • Tom Hanks
  • (Photo : Reuters)

Tom Hanks has already established himself as a Disney portraying the voice of Woody the sheriff in the "Toy Story" movies. But now Hanks is taking on a new role.

Hanks will be playing the legendary figure: Walt Disney!

The Oscar winner will play the late studio founder in "Saving Mister Banks," which just began shooting. The movie will be about Disney's 20-year pursuit of the film rights to the novel "Mary Poppins" and their relationship trials during the project in 1961.

Fellow Oscar winner Emma Thompson will play "Poppins" author P.L. Travers. Hanks will be the first actor ever to play Disney in a dramatic film.

Before Travers would agree to allow the Mary Poppins novel to be filmed, she reportedly made extraordinary demands on both Disney studios and sibling composers Richard and Robert Sherman, whose original score and song (Chim-Chim-Cher-ee) won an Oscar at the 1965 ceremonies.

Walt Disney was about to give up dealing with the author, but he had made a promise to his two daughters to bring their beloved character to life. Disney's hot pursuit resulted in the musical pop icons that many treasure dearly to this day. The role of Mary Poppins also launched the career of Julie Andrews with Disney.

Other members of the cast include Colin Farrell ("Total Recall"), Paul Giamatti ("Sideways"), and Jason Schwartzman ("Moonrise Kingdom) playing alongside B.J. Novak (NBC's "The Office") as the songwriting Sherman Brothers.

While production continues, there is no word yet on when "Saving Mister Banks" will hit theaters.

Hanks is also currently working on "Toy Story 4" which brings back the cast of the previous films. The Toy Story films raked over $1 billion in the world wide box office. 

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