Does Angela Lansbury Want a Bedknobs and Broomsticks Remake?

Angela Lansbury

Sorry, Bedknobs and Brooksticks fans. There will not 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 uses her powers to stop the Nazis and end World War II in the musical fantasy — was asked Monday if she might be interested in a remake at a press junket for the upcoming digital release of Mary Poppins Returns. 

Lansbury, who is featured in the sequel, made a surprise appearance at the event, which had been billed as a Q&A with the film's director, Rob Marshall.

"Bedknobs and Broomsticks? No. I think it’s… no, absolutely not," declared Lansbury, causing the crowd at Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif., to burst into laughter. "It was fun. It was lovely doing it. It was my introduction to Disney."

The questioner had highlighted how Mary Poppins Returns is but one recent example of the studio's string of revivals and remakes. Others include Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and the upcoming The Lion King.

Of course, Disney may not need Lansbury if it decides to redo Bedknobs. Julie Andrews, who starred in the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins, did not appear in the sequel that starred Emily Blunt as the magical nanny she originated — although Dick Van Dyke, who portrayed the chimney sweep Bert, did return to reprise his role as the banker, Mr. Dawes.

However, Marshall, who first worked with Lansbury in the holiday film Mrs. Santa Claus, praised the five-time Tony Award-winning actress as "an original" who could not be easily replaced.

"Everything Angela does is iconic for me, and it’s almost impossible to see someone else take on that," said Marshall. "How many women do you know and great actors do you know that are character actresses and leading ladies at one time? It just doesn’t happen."

"She is my hero and there’s no one like her. The word original is thrown around way too much, but this woman is an original," he said.

Lansbury and Marshall appeared to promote the home entertainment release of Mary Poppins Returns, which can be viewed digitally on March 12 and on DVD/Blu-ray on March 19. The release includes behind-the-scenes footage showing, for example, how the actors soared into the air in the musical scene of "Nowhere to Go But Up," in which Lansbury portrays the Balloon Lady who helps them fly.

Watch a clip from the scene below.

Tags: film

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