The musical Mamma Mia is set for a spectacularly-entitled sequel, Mama Mia: Here We Go Again!, reprising Seyfried’s role as Sophie, the daughter to Meryl Streep’s Donna. This comes as little surprise as the original 2008 Mama Mia! was a huge hit at over $600M worldwide on a $52M budget. Given Hollywood’s modern penchant for franchises, and Universal’s dearth of successful sequelitis, there’s seemingly good cause for a successor film, although one wonders why it took Universal nearly a decade to dust off what was considered a one-off musical. Could it be the recent announcement of other musical successes, such as La La Land? Or is Universal merely scraping the bottom of the box office barrel for more films to add to their scarce repertoire?
The second film is headed into immediate production, eying a mid summer July 2018 release date, which is another sign Universal hopes to cash in while they can. Ol Parker, is set to write and direct. No signs yet indicate whether Streep will return, although there are reports she will reprise her role in a “smaller capacity”, whereas Brosnan recently displayed firm enthusiasm for the sequel on Instagram by posting an image of him and Streep.
Seyfried will apparently reprise her role as Sophie Sheridan, and according to Tracking Board, Streep will play a smaller role, as the sequel will seemingly focus more on Seyfried’s role with Streep’s Donna Sheridan in the past, both singing to the tunes of ABBA, along with Brosnan’s Sam.
The 2008 original film didn’t fair so well with critics (55% at RottenTomatoes) and did rather poorly with audiences, despite its enormous haul (6.4 on IMDb) Miraculously, it was second to The Dark Knight on opening weekend. We will see how well the second one tracks when it has to compete with Marvel’s comic book machine next year.