First picture of Tom Hanks as Walt Disney released

Hanks plays the Mouse House founder in an upcoming film called 'Saving Mr Banks'

The first image of Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in the upcoming film Saving Mr Banks has been released.

The still shows Hanks’s Disney with Emma Thompson as PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins books. The film follows Travers as she travels from London to Hollywood to work with Disney on the 1964 film starring her beloved character.

It took Disney over 20 years to convince Travers that a film would do her books justice, and when she finally relented she demanded script approval – which she got. Travers and Disney locked horns over several elements of the big screen adaptation, including whether to use original songs composed especially for the film.

The film features flashbacks to Travers’ difficult childhood in Australia and Colin Farrell co-stars as the author’s father, who was the inspiration for Mr Banks, the patriarch in her Mary Poppins books. The cast also includes Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman and up-and-coming British actress Victoria Summer as Julie Andrews.

John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) directed from a script by British screenwriter Kelly Marcel, who has since been hired to adapt Fifty Shades Of Grey for the big screen. Saving Mr Banks opens in cinemas on December 20.