The Mamma Mia sequel, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, officially sets Amanda Seyfried to reprise her role as Sophie, the daughter of Meryl Streep’s Donna. The jukebox musical Mamma Mia! has had toes tapping and rumps shaking since 1999 and it’s not about to slow down. The big screen adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried won over audiences when it hit theaters in 2008, and raked in heavy box office numbers. So, it’s no surprise Universal is gunning for a round two.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! was confirmed just a few weeks ago and is heading straight into production to meet a July 2018 release date, with Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) set to write and direct. At the time, Universal hadn’t announced whether one or both of the film’s leads would return, but at least one of the lead stars is now set to reprise her role.
According to Deadline, Seyfried has officially signed on for Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! Streep has not yet been announced as part of the sequel’s cast, but according to The Tracking Board’s initial report for Mamma Mia 2, she’s expected to return in “smaller capacity.” Additionally, Pierce Brosnan – who played Sam Carmichael, Sophie’s possible father/step-father – seemingly confirmed his return; he took to Instagram to express his excitement for the sequel, with a screenshot of him and Streep in a golden-kissed romantic glow, seen below:
Seyfried will reprise her role as Sophie Sheridan, Donna Sheridan (Streep)’s daughter and both will continue singing and dancing to the tunes of ABBA. The Tracking Board’s report states Streep is taking on a much smaller role in the story because the film will focus on Sophie in the present and Donna in the past. Casting is expected to bring in a slew of new characters, though several original characters are expected to return, like Brosnan’s Sam.
Mamma Mia! premiered on the London stage in 1999, featuring the chart-topping songs of the 1970s Swedish pop/dance group active. Proving a massive hit on stage in London, the show was then taken around the world, playing 5,773 performances on Broadway before closing, and making a remarkable stand in Russia, becoming the longest daily running show in the history of Russian theatre.
The film itself received mixed critical reviews (a 55 percent rotten on Rotten Tomatoes), but the numbers show that Mamma Mia! was by all means a hit. With a production budget of $52 million, the movie grossed $144m domestic and $609m worldwide. It came in second to The Dark Knight on its opening weekend, proving that audiences really do love a good song and dance. Though the sequel is a surprise to most fans with no earlier hints of development, Universal is no doubt betting on the property’s loyal fan base to turn out at the box office to bring another summer success, testing my, my, just how much we missed them.