Universal Announces ‘Mamma Mia’ Sequel Release Date And Director

Universal Pictures has officially announced that they've nailed down a director and locked in a release date for the sequel to the 2008 smash musical film Mamma Mia!.

The film, titled Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, will hit theaters on July 20, 2018, and it will be directed by Ol Parker, who is best known for writing 2011's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and it's 2015 sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

While no specific plot is known at this time, one rumored storyline would see the sequel focus mainly on the characters played by Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, and Pierce Brosnan prior to the events of the first film.

The only trouble with that theory, however, is that Universal is calling this a "sequel" and not a "prequel" so it's probably more likely that story will be a continuation rather than a flashback.

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Mamma Mia!, based on the hit Broadway play of the same name, raked in over $600 million on a budget of only $52 million, plus it received two Golden Globe nominations, so Universal likely sees the sequel as a very smart investment on their part.

Interestingly, the first Mamma Mia! film was directed by the same woman who directed the Broadway play, Phyllida Lloyd, and it was written by Catherine Johnson, who wrote the book based on the Mamma Mia! Broadway play.

While Lloyd and Johnson are not scheduled to return to the sequel in any capacity at this time, Universal is still making sure to do everything in their power to recapture the magic of the original.

They've brought in Judy Craymer, who produced Mamma Mia!, as well as created and produced the stage musical, to co-produce, and aboard again to handle music and lyrics are Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. They will also executive produce.

Additionally, it's been said that with a few "reprise" exceptions, the new film will feature all-new songs from ABBA's past catalog of music. The iconic Swedish pop group put out eight studio albums between 1973 and 1981, dropping an album every year except for 1978.

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Mamma Mia! lists as having 24 musical numbers and ABBA put out nearly 100 original songs during their time together back in the 70's and 80's. Depending on how songs the new film uses, there could potentially be enough for a third film in another 10 years, or so.

[H/T: Variety]