“My, my… how can I resist ya?”
According to a report by Variety, a follow-up film to 2008’s hit musical Mamma Mia! is in the works at Universal. The working title for the feature is Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!.
Directed and written by Ol Parker, writer of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the film will be both a prequel and sequel. The present time will feature the original cast, while flashbacks will feature younger versions of characters. Unlike the 2008 film, this film will feature entirely new music, meaning that the film will qualify for Best Original Song at the Oscars (which was something that the producers pushed for in the first film, but ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus refused).
Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth are all confirmed to reprise their roles. Mamma Mia! producers Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman have boarded as well.
Some may wonder what is drawing so many big stars back for the sequel to a musical that received mixed reviews (beyond their promised salaries). According to The Guardian, Meryl Streep first saw the original musical with her daughter in October 2001 in Manhattan, and wrote to the producers to praise them for bringing a ‘little happiness and fun’ it brought to New York following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As for Brosnan, according to Mirror, for the 2008 film, he hadn’t ever even seen the award-winning musical, but rather heard it was filmed in Greece and starred Steep, and signed on. And with those two signed on, the rest of the all-star cast including Stellan Skarsgard, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski (all of which have not yet been confirmed to return for the sequel, but most likely will).
The 2008 film became one of the most successful movie musicals ever when it grossed $609 million worldwide. The original stage musical, based on the songs of the 1970s dance/pop group ABBA, first opened in London on April 1999, and moved to Broadway by 2001. It is the eighth-longest-running show on both Broadway and on London’s West End.
Brosnan is currently starring on AMC’s The Son, and can be seen next in the drama The Only Living Boy in New York. while Streep and Firth are currently filming Mary Poppins Returns.
The release date for Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is set for July 20, 2018 (meaning that filming will most likely take place some time in fall or winter of this year). Stay tuned for more details!