Having the time of your life! Mamma Mia! left a lasting impression in 2008 as the cast transported viewers to Greece while singing ABBA’s greatest hits — and one film just wasn’t enough.
Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried captivated audiences as mother-daughter duo Donna and Sophie in the original movie. In hopes of getting answers about her father’s identity, Sophie contacts three of her mom’s former flames — Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) and Harry (Colin Firth) — before her wedding.
While fans never officially learn who Sophie’s dad is, the men all agree to be stay in her life as father figures. Meanwhile, the love story that plays out between Donna and Sam makes viewers lust for a European fairy tale of their own.
A decade after the musical’s success, producer Judy Craymer gave fans a second film filled with more ABBA tunes and mischief on the Greek isles. 2018’s Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again introduced viewers to a young Donna, played by Lily James, and her three whirlwind romances.
Donna’s origin story also brought Cher into the mix as her mother, Ruby Sheridan. Along with a few newbies, the original cast all appeared in the sequel, including Donna’s grown-up BFFs Rosie (played by Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski), who played a big part in both stories.
In August 2021, Craymer reflected on the two hit movies, which were inspired by the Mamma Mia! musical that premiered on Broadway in 1999.
“Meryl was the first choice [for Donna]. I’d seen her in a play … and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, she’s good,’” the English filmmaker recalled during an interview with Daily Mail+. “She jumped at it before she read the script because she had seen the play in New York. I had called her agent and asked him, which was not really the protocol. He called Meryl, thinking she’d say no. She screamed on the phone, ‘I am Mamma Mia!’ She was so supportive.”
The producer explained that — despite rave reviews for the first film — “nothing ever moves that fast” in Hollywood, so the sequel took 10 years to get on the big screen.
“It just seemed natural and the right time. Everyone wanted to come together for it,” Craymer said of the second movie, noting that Streep rarely — if ever — does sequels, but she agreed to come back. “I think she missed us. It was just a big party, really.”
Craymer also teased the possibility of a third blockbuster — and many of the films’ stars have hinted at wanting to go back to Greece one last time.
“I always think wouldn’t it be fun just to get back together on that Greek island and maybe film all of us having dinner and telling the stories and singing all ABBA songs?” Baranski told Entertainment Weekly in January 2022 when asked about reuniting for a possible Mamma Mia! 3. “And then just have it filmed as a great night out.”
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Scroll down to see what the cast and creators of the Mamma Mia! franchise have said about making it a trilogy: