Among other sources, Variety is reporting that Meryl is set to reprise her role as Donna in the sequel to 2008's Mamma Mia!, entitled Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
When I first read the news, I have to admit that I was disappointed. Generally, I've never really thought that doing a sequel would be up to Meryl's standards. Historically, what I've probably enjoyed most about her is the variety of characters she chooses to portray, and doing a sequel seems to fly in the face of that history.
It's not like Mamma Mia! was a great film, either. However, it totally made the dough. If we consider the fact that Meryl will turn 68 this summer, it might actually be a super smart move on her part. Mamma Mia! grossed over $600 million worldwide in 2008. What better way to give a boost to your "bankability" than to star in a cash cow that might bolster your status with filmmakers for a decade to come?
With that in mind, I can't help but wish this were news of The Good House instead. I have to try to be pragmatic though, understanding that Meryl had a great number of doors open for her after the financial success of the original, and if the sequel were to do even half as well, it would provide for future projects that would likely be very much to my liking.
It's interesting that for a long time after Florence Foster Jenkins rapped in 2015, I lamented the dearth of projects on Streep's horizon. Finally, in July of last year it was announced that she would have a bit part in Mary Poppins Returns, to be released at the end of 2018. Now, however, we potentially have three projects that are set to film and debut well before that. The Post, or "Untitled Steven Spielberg Project" has a release date of December this year. The Nix could potentially get pulled together for a second quarter slate of 2018, and now Here We Go Again! already has a release date for July 20, 2018. What a change from just a few months ago!
It gives me confidence in this new project that the writer of both Exotic Marigold Hotel films is penning this for Meryl. That said, it doesn't seem that Ol Parker has necessarily established himself as a great director. Regardless, we know he probably has a good handle on what makes this demographic tick, which is why I feel Meryl is hopping aboard.
Fingers crossed that this is a success and provides Meryl multiple future opportunities to shine.