The final Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again trailer brings back the old gang from the original Mamma Mia!, but avoids addressing Donna's (Meryl Streep) fate in the film. Streep technically appears in both the final trailer and teaser trailer for the Mamma Mia! sequel, by way of footage recycled from the original movie. When it comes to new footage, however, Streep is nowhere to be found, leading most people to assume that Donna passed away sometime prior to the events of Here We Go Again.
Based on the trailers, Here We Go Again resembles (of all movies) The Godfather Part II in its structure. Like that sequel, the second Mamma Mia! takes place in two timelines: the present, where Donna's daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is preparing to become a mother herself, and 1979, where young Donna (Lily James) sets out to make a home for herself on the Greek island Kalokairi. The idea appears to be that Donna's courtship with Sophie's three dads is being recounted to Sophie in the present by Donna's old bandmates Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), in order to help Sophie prepare for motherhood.
Sophie isn't the only one with parental issues in the Mamma Mia! sequel either. The final trailer reveals that Donna's mother Ruby (Cher) shows up uninvited at Kalokairi in the film, saying she wants to finally be a proper grandmother to Sophie. It also seems that Sophie is trying to keep a lid on her pregnancy for now, which begs the question: why is everyone making the trip back to Greece in the first place? For more hints on that and the ABBA musical numbers to come, watch the final Here We Go Again trailer in the space above.
Streep was a big part of the original Mamma Mia! movie's commercial success, so that's at least part of the reason why Universal has been using older footage of her to sell the sequel. As much as it looks like Streep's character passed away before Here We Go Again picks up, it could be that she's still alive and simply plays a smaller role in the film for different reasons (for example, she's gone on an extended trip). Either way, Universal has - perhaps smartly - decided to downplay her role in the sequel's marketing, lest the studio be accused of using a bait-and-switch approach to sell the movie.
All talk of Streep aside, it will be interesting to see how Here We Go Again fares with audiences compared to its predecessor. The first movie hit theaters at a time when the original ABBA stage musical was thriving, but Mamma Mia! fever has certainly cooled down since then. A number of filmgoers had probably never seen a jukebox film musical before Mamma Mia! either, meaning it had an element of freshness that Here We Go Again simply won't have. Still, now that ten years have passed since the first movie, nostalgia may encourage more people to give director Ol Parker's Mamma Mia! sequel a shot.
Source: Universal Pictures
- Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) release date: Jul 20, 2018