Saving-Mr.-Banks-Teaser-PosterJohn Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks has long been on the radar as one of the prime contenders of the year come Oscar season.

It is soon to embark on the festival circuit, chosen as the Closing Night Film for the BFI London Film Festival next month and the Opening Night Film for the AFI Fest a few weeks later, which should help build momentum towards the year’s end.

And whilst its UK release date had previously been expected to arrive on 17th January in the New Year, following its December release in the States, Disney have now confirmed that it will release Saving Mr. Banks in our cinemas on 29th November.

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge.  He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson are front and centre here as Walt Disney and P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. And the two are joined by a stellar ensemble, led by Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, and Kathy Baker.

Hancock (The Blind Side) is directing from a script co-written by Kelly Marcel (Terra Nova, Fifty Shades of Grey) and Sue Smith.

Saving Mr. Banks will now be released in the UK on 29th November, following its debut at the LFF next month. It will then head to the US for its early limited release on December 13th, before opening wide on December 20th, in plenty of time both for Christmas and the Academy Awards.

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