The Mamma Mia! sequel is getting a touch of fairy-tale magic in the form of Cinderella star Lily James, who has just been announced as joining the cast for the second instalment of the successful film.
What’s more, James is stepping into the exciting and, we imagine, rather daunting shoes of screen icon Meryl Streep, playing a younger version of her character Donna in flashback scenes, according to hollywoodreporter.com.
The story is likely to focus on how Donna met the men in her life, as the flashback device is described as revealing how “relationships forged in the past resonate in the present”.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! was announced in May, along with the fan-pleasing news that it would feature original cast members Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Stellan Skarsgård and Colin Firth.
Based on the stellar songs of the legendary Abba, the first film (taken from the musical of the same name) saw bride-to-be Sophie (Seyfried) working out which of Sam (Brosnan), Harry (Firth) or Bill (Skarsgård) was her father.
The sequel will feature songs not in the 2008 original, and Cooper – who said in June that appearing in the sequel was a phone call “I’ve been waiting for for 10 years” – believes the fact it’s been almost a decade since the original speaks to the quality of the new tale.
Interviewed by Entertainment Tonight, he said: “Rather than it being forced and coming two years after the great success of the last one and just pushing out a storyline, that’s not what this has been.
“This was finally someone [thinking], ‘I’ve got it! I’ve got the key to this. I know how this can be good.’”
The original Mamma Mia! was a huge hit worldwide, raking in $610 million (approximately £470m) after being made on a $52m (£20m) budget.
Brosnan, meanwhile, has promised to sing again despite being taken less than seriously the first time round, given he received a Razzie Worst Supporting Actor award for his efforts.
“I’m looking forward to it enormously. It was criminal how much fun we had the first time,” he told USA Today. “I think the world is ready for Mamma Mia 2, and I believe the world is ready to hear me sing once more,” adding that he was speaking tongue “firmly in my cheek”.
“I don’t care what they say. I love to sing. People don’t necessarily employ me for my singing. But I chose to sing.”
Executive producers Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Abba alum, will again provide music and lyrics, while British filmmaker Ol Parker – husband of Thandie Newton – wrote the script and will direct.
The film is set for release in July 2018.
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