In a 10.16 N.Y. Times piece about Saving Mr. Banks, the upcoming John Lee Hancock film about the fierce debate between Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) about the tone and emphasis of the Mary Poppins script, Brooks Barnes reports that Walt Disney Studios adopted a more or less hands off, comme ci comme ca attitude regarding the film’s portrayal of the studio’s founder.
Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson in John Lee Hancock and Kelly Marcel’s Saving Mr. Banks.
The article, titled “Forget the Spoonful of Sugar: It’s Uncle Walt, Uncensored — Saving Mr. Banks Depicts a Walt Disney With Faults,” says that Hanks’ Disney “acts in a very un-Disney way. He slugs back Scotch. He uses a mild curse word. He wheezes because he smokes too much.” And Banks producer Allison Owen all but shudders with pleasure when she says to Barnes, “Wow, this was so not the battle I anticipated…Disney behaved impeccably.”
Not really. Or at least, not entirely. According to remarks attributed to Hanks by Deadline‘s Nancy Tartaglione at a BAFTA tribute last night in London, Disney execs were not only skittish but downright censoring when it came to any thoughts of showing Disney actually smoking.