Griffiths, Baker Join “Saving Mr. Banks”

Rachel Griffiths and Kathy Baker have rounded out the cast of the John Lee Hancock-directed Disney feature “Saving Mr. Banks” which began production this week says The Herald Online.

Kelly Marcel’s script deals with the 14 year courtship by Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to persuade Australian author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to sell him the film rights to her book “Mary Poppins”.

Travers’ book was highly personal, and reflected hardships in her own life and her relationship with her father (Colin Farrell) who died when she was seven and living in rural Queensland. Disney finally persuaded her to let him make the film, though she was prickly all the way to the end.

Griffiths will play Travers’ aunt, while Baker plays one of Disney’s trusted studio associates. Other previously announced actors include Ruth Wilson as Travers’ mother, Annie Buckley as an 11-year-old Travers in flashbacks, Bradley Whitford as screenwriter Don DaGradi, Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak as the songwriting Sherman Brothers, and Paul Giamatti as Travers’ kindly limousine driver Ralph.