Disney's Mary Poppins sequel to star Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Emily Blunt will star as Mary Poppins (Getty file)
Emily Blunt will star as Mary Poppins (Getty file)

Disney has delivered the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious news that its much-anticipated Mary Poppins sequel will open in December 2018.

Mary Poppins Returns will feature Emily Blunt in the lead role as the magical nanny who runs a notoriously tight ship but isn't averse to spoonfuls of sugar and breaking into spontaneous song.

Disney says the film will be set in Depression-era London and follow the nanny's now-adult former charges, Jane and Michael Banks, who are "visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss".

It will draw on material in P.L. Travers' seven additional novels in The Mary Poppins' Stories series.

Disney's Mary Poppins sequel to star Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Emily Blunt (Getty file)

Blunt, who rose to fame in a similarly no-nonsense role as a fashion assistant in The Devil Wears Prada, last displayed her singing talents on the big screen as the Baker's Wife in Disney's 2014 live-action musical Into the Woods.

Broadway darling Lin-Manuel Miranda will co-star as a new character -- a street lamplighter called Jack.

Miranda is a Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Pulitzer winner best known for writing the Broadway hit musicals Hamilton and In the Heights.

Disney's Mary Poppins sequel to star Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda on Broadway as Alexander Hamilton (Getty)

Mary Poppins Returns will be his first major on-screen feature film role. He has already worked with Disney in his capacity as a composer, providing the music for the studio's upcoming animated film Moana. He also co-wrote the cantina song in Star Wars: The Force Awakens with J. J. Abrams.

The film reunites the creative team from Into the Woods, director Rob Marshall and producers John DeLuca and Marc Platt.

Marshall says he is humbled and honoured by the opportunity.

"The iconic original film means so much to me personally, and I look forward to creating an original movie musical that can bring Mary Poppins, and her message that childlike wonder can be found in even the most challenging of times, to a whole new generation."

David Magee will write the film's screenplay, with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman creating all-new songs.

The original Mary Poppins film -- starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke -- won five Academy Awards after its release in 1964 and found generations of fans.

Disney turned it into a stage musical and it spawned the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks, which chronicled the studio's efforts to make the original movie.