Colin Farrell is about to get a little more family-friendly. The "Fright Night" star will be embracing his paternal instincts as he signs on for a rare "dad" role in "Saving Mr. Banks," according to Deadline.
Farrell joins Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in the true behind-the-scenes story of the long, hard road to making "Mary Poppins," in which Walt Disney (Hanks) waged a 14-year courtship to persuade Australian author P.L. Travers (Thompson) to sell him the rights to her story of the beloved nanny. Travers (obviously) eventually gave in but remained prickly about it all the way to the end and apparently despised the film's animated sequences.
"Mary Poppins" was a very personal story for Travers, as it reflected the hardships in her real life and her relationship with her father (to be played by Farrell), who died when she was seven years old. Travers' father inspired the character of Mr. Banks, played by David Tomlinson in "Mary Poppins."
"Mary Poppins," released in 1964, was a critical and commercial success and went on to win five Oscars, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews, Best Visual Effects and Best Song for Dick Van Dyke's catchy "Chim Chim Cher-ee." Disney himself regarded the film as one of the crowning achievements of his career.
It will be fun to see Colin Farrell in more, well, Disney kind of territory. Meanwhile, he'll next be seen indulging in a little (or a lot, rather) sci-fi mayhem with "Total Recall," opening Aug. 3.