European premiere of Disney’s Saving Mr Banks, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, to close the London Film Festival on October 20.


The London Film Festival (Oct 9-20) is to close with the European premiere of Disney’s Saving Mr Banks, the story of how Mary Poppins was brought to the big screen.

John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) directs Emma Thompson as the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.

The decision means Hanks films will bookend the festival, which opens on October 9 with Paul Greengrass thriller Captain Phillips.

Saving Mr Banks’ supporting cast includes Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti and Ruth Wilson.

Hancock, Thompson and Hanks are all expected to attend the closing night gala.

Alison Owen produces for Ruby Films with Ian Collie, Philip Steuer and BBC Films. Kelly Marcel wrote the script with Sue Smith.

Owen said: “Saving Mr Banks is very much about British manners versus American values, as Pamela Travers and Walt Disney battle over the rights to Mary Poppins, so it feels absolutelyfitting that the LFF Closing Night should be our European Premiere, and we feel very honoured.

“We filmed the London sequences in the street where Pamela lived, and London was both the start of the journey for Mary Poppins and for our movie, so we feel like we’re beginning in the right place.”

Walt Disney Studios releases the film in UK cinemas winter 2013.