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Rob Marshall

Exclusive: Disney developing new original musical featuring Mary Poppins; Rob Marshall to direct

One of the world’s most cherished characters is about to take flight once more.

EW has learned that Disney is developing a new original live-action musical film featuring the beloved magical nanny, Mary Poppins. The studio is bringing back Into the Woods director Rob Marshall and producers John DeLuca and Marc Platt, who successfully shepherded Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway tuner to the big screen for Disney last year.

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See Meryl Streep sing the cut song Stephen Sondheim wrote for Into the Woods

Stephen Sondheim composed the original Tony-winning score and lyrics for Into the Woods before it premiered on Broadway in 1987. But for Rob Marshall’s star-studded Hollywood adaptation, the 84-year-old had something special in mind. He authored a new song for Meryl Streep, who played the Witch. “She’ll Be Back” was intended for the scene after Rapunzel escapes from her tower and runs off with the Prince, leaving the Witch alone and slightly embittered. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Broadway legend had only one request for his leading lady, a three-time Oscar winner who’d proven her singing chops in Mamma Mia! and A Prairie Home Companion: “Don’t f–k it up.”

She didn’t. But when the film was pieced together, the song was left on the cutting-room floor, a casualty of pacing. On the Blu-ray combo pack, Digital HD/SD, and Disney Movies Anywhere editions of Into the Woods, however—which arrive on March 24—fans can see the complete scene of Streep’s revitalized Witch singing “She’ll Be Back.” 

Entertainment Weekly and People.com have an exclusive peek at the song. Though it’s debatable whether the filmmakers made the correct call, the sequence is a delight to see and hear—especially because no one alive can deliver a dismissive back-handed wave like Streep. Watch the clip below, with an introduction from Marshall.

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