In the summer of 2008, Mamma Mia! was a sunny, surprising smash on the big screen. It was adapted from an immensely popular musical that debuted in London in 1999 and opened on Broadway in 2001; the musical was inspired by the songs of 1970s Swedish pop sensation ABBA.
None of that was a guarantee for movie success, of course, especially since it opened opposite The Dark Knight. Some felt that Mamma Mia! would be swamped by the superhero blockbuster. While it’s true that Mamma Mia! made far less money at the box office in the U.S. than The Dark Knight, its overseas receipts more than tripled its total. In sum, Mamma Mia! earned more than $600 million worldwide, an amazing return in comparison to the movie’s rather modest $52 million budget.
The top-billed Meryl Streep got an unexpected boost in her career and she’s made the most of it ever since, continuing to impress with her comic, musical and dramatic talents in lead and supporting roles. It also did wonders for rising actress Amanda Seyfried, 22 at the time of the movie’s release, who soon began landing more starring roles.
Now a sequel is on its way. The original cast is “expected to return, along with some new faces,” according to Deadline. Ol Parker, known for writing The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel, will write the screenplay and direct. The movie will feature ABBA songs not previously heard or performed in the first movie.
The original story followed a bride-to-be (Seyfried) who discovered that one of three men (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard) might be her father, so she invited them all to attend her wedding. Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that the new movie will be set in the present day with returning cast members and that new actors will portray younger versions of Streep, Brosnan and Firth. In other words it will be both a prequel and a sequel.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is scheduled for release on July 20, 2018.