Film

Production begins on ‘Mama Mia 2’ as Lily James joins the cast

Mama Mia 2 will hit theaters in 2018

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Universal Pictures has started principal photography on “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” and the studio confirmed the extended cast that have joined the project. Ten years after “Mamma Mia! The Movie” grossed more than $600 million around the world, fans are invited to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi in an all-new original musical based on the songs of ABBA. With the film’s original cast returning and new additions including Lily James (Cinderella, Baby Driver), the musical comedy will open on July 20, 2018. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, producers of the original film. Craymer is also the creator and producer of the worldwide smash-hit stage musical. That should give you plenty of time to watch the original film ($10 on Amazon) and be ready for the sequel next year.

Lily James most recently starred in “Baby Driver” alongside Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx. The film was a huge success for Universal, bringing in almost $102M domestically and over $175M worldwide.

Ol Parker, the writer of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” will write and direct the sequel for Universal Pictures. Parker will be working from a story written with Catherine Johnson, Richard Curtis. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus have returned to the franchise to provide music and lyrics and serve as executive producers. Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Phyllida Lloyd, Richard Curtis and Nicky Kentish Barnes also serve as executive producers.

Reprising their roles from “Mamma Mia! The Movie” are Academy Award winner Meryl Streep as Donna, Julie Walters as Rosie and Christine Baranski as Tanya. Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper reunite as Sophie and Sky, while Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård and Oscar winner Colin Firth return to play Sophie’s three possible dads: Sam, Bill and Harry.

As the film goes back and forth in time to show how relationships forged in the past resonate in the present, James will play the role of Young Donna. Filling the roles of Young Rosie and Young Tanya are Alexa Davies (A Brilliant Young Mind) and Jessica Keenan Wynn (Go Green). Young Sam will be played by Jeremy Irvine (Fallen), while Young Bill is Josh Dylan (Allied) and Young Harry is Hugh Skinner (Kill Your Friends).

“I’m so thrilled to have our brilliant original cast back and to welcome the new cast to the Mamma Mia! family,” said Judy Craymer. “It was so much fun casting these young roles, and there is great excitement amongst the whole cast as we explore the characters past and present and continue this heartwarming story where it left off…told once again through much-loved ABBA songs.”

The creative team includes musical director Martin Koch and music programmer Nick Gilpin, both collaborators of the original stage show, as well as Anthony Van Laast, choreographer of the stage show and Mamma Mia! The Movie.

New to the Mamma Mia! family are cinematographer Robert Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Bridesmaids), production designer Alan Macdonald (The Queen, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), editor Peter Lambert (Woman in Gold, The Twilight Saga: New Moon) and costume designer Michele Clapton (HBO’s Game of Thrones, Netflix’s The Crown).