There may have only been one ABBA Broadway musical, but that doesn’t mean that Hollywood has to stop with just one movie version…and we’re thrilled that they didn’t! Just released is the first trailer for Meryl Streep’s Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which reunites most of the first film’s cast and will reportedly feature at least three songs from the band, “When I Kissed the Teacher,” “I Wonder (Departure)” and “Angel Wise”, with a reprise of the title song (naturally). We also know that the new Mamma Mia!, scheduled for release on July 20, 2018, is going to be both a sequel and a prequel.
In the first film, Sophie Sheridan, played by Amanda Seyfried, has invited, unbeknownst to her mother, Donna (Meryl), three men to her upcoming wedding, having learned from her mom’s diary that one of then could be her father. They are Stellan Skarsgard as Swedish writer and adventurer Bill Anderson, Colin Firth as British banker Harry Bright, and Pierce Brosnan as Irish-American architect Sam Carmichael. In the end, Sam’s the man and, having been Donna’s true love, ends up marrying her. Sophie has her answer, everyone’s happy, they go off singing, and the story is finished. But what happened before? That is what’s explored in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which, while starting off in the present, ends up going to the past to see how Donna, Sam, and Harry met and got to know each other.
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Playing young Donna is Lily James, best known for her roles on the TV series Downtown Abbey, and the films Cinderella, Fast Girls, Baby Driver, and Darkest Hour. Hugh Skinner (Les Miserables, Hampstead, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) is young Harry, and Jeremy Irvine (Stonewall, The Beautiful Fantastic, Fallen) is the young Sam. Extra casting bonus: Cher, in her first role since 2010, is playing Donna’s mother, Ruby.
Despite the fact that it was so successful at the box office ($610 million on a $52 million budget), the original Mamma Mia! received mixed reviews from critics, particularly for the singing of some of the cast. Pierce in particular became something of a target, which he’s handled with humor, including when talking about the new film.
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“I think the world is ready for Mamma Mia! 2,” he commented to USA Today. “And I believe the world is ready to hear me sing once more. He says that tongue firmly in cheek… Maybe that was my problem, my tongue was firmly in my cheek when I was singing.”