Julie Andrews has a role in a big holiday blockbuster this year. Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to a film with which she's virtually synonymous, is a big holiday blockbuster this year. These two statements are unrelated.
Andrews will instead be appearing, in voice form, in James Wan's Aquaman, according to EW. She'll be voicing the Karathen, "an undersea creature that holds the key to Arthur Curry’s (Jason Momoa) quest to unite the Atlantean and surface worlds," says the report.
According to producer Peter Safran: "We wanted the Karathen to have the voice of a classic British actress, albeit somewhat digitally altered [...] And when we found out Julie was interested and available and excited to do it, casting her was a no-brainer." Of course! I have no doubt the delicious fact the movie would be opening opposite a Poppins didn't factor into the casting whatsoever.
The reason Andrews won't be appearing in Return of the Poppins? Reportedly, she declined the chance to appear in the film, citing a desire not to distract from Emily Blunt's performance - totally reasonable, given the enormity of Poppins' cultural significance. Co-star Dick Van Dyke is, however, appearing in the sequel, playing the son of his second character (not Bert) from the original film.
My biggest takeaway from all this, though, is that there's an undersea creature in Aquaman voiced by an "excited" Julie Andrews, which only adds to the seabed volcano of weirdness being promised by this movie.
That volcano erupts on December 21st.