Friday, May 19, 2017

"Mamma Mia!" sequel in the works

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.



    The Tracking Board says that she will only appear as a smaller part, however. Do we think this will be similar to her supporting part in Mary Poppins?

    1. Thanks for the link, Elle! "Meryl Streep is also expected to return, albeit in a much smaller capacity."

      That's intesting. Amanda Seyfried headlining? I'm less enthusiastic about the chances of this film making bank. But maybe it's not just a bit part for Meryl...shared lead?

    2. And also, Meryl's role is supposed to take place "in th past"? So, like Meryl is playing someone 20-30 years younger? No.

    3. Yes, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety also emphasize that a big part of the story will be a prequel focusing on the characters when they were young , with new actors. In addition to a sequel part where the old cast members return.

      But this must be a smaller part for Meryl for her to even have time to say yes and shoot this so fast, I'm thinking. She is shooting The Post until August which she then will have to promote in November and December/January . So if this was huge I doubt she would even have time.

  2. If she was going to have bit parts, I'd rather have her in this kind of popular movies which will be seen by people around the world than drama movies like Evening or The Homesman which hardly seen by anyone. And I can't wait for another soundtrack cause so many great ABBA songs still have not been used in the original. All in all, this is a great new in a week that we will know whoelse will star with her in Spielberg movie. And on top of it, her next three movies all have a release date! So happy. Jack

  3. Well as a huge Abba fan I am really glad they will get to explore some other great tunes and the premise of exploring "Our last summer" when Sophie was conceived is interesting.

    Are we wondering if one of Meryl's daughters might be up for the part of younger Donna? Not sure if they sing though! That part of the movie where Donna told Sophie when she got pregnant her mother told her not to bother coming home always makes me smile. Meryl would have been almost 40 at that point! Although she easily passed for younger..

    My final thought is agreeing with Jeff. Meryl needs a big fat hit to reignite her box office reputation and keep getting exciting little gems green-lit which might otherwise never be made.

    In the UK Mamma Mia was beyond popular and this is a pretty safe bet. I do share the hope that she has a bigger than small part though or else the audience will feel short-changed.
    No offence to the original Director but its a good sign if she isn't on-board.

  4. How is it good news if she isn't on board? The movie is nothing without her. But she's not stupid, she knows that, so she's gonna do it.

    1. Think he means the original director
      - Jamie

    2. Sorry yes I mean Phyllida Lloyd not being signed up as Director. No offence to her as I loved Mamma Mia in spite of it's shortcomings but I don't think she should direct this. I believe The Iron Lady would have turned out better with someone more experienced at the helm.