Mamma Mia! has truly grown into a global musical phenomenon, having started its days on the stage with a heartwarming script penned by Catherine Johnson backed by singalong hits from ABBA’s repertoire. Following its premiere in London’s West End back in 1999, the romcom juggernaut was made into a movie in 2008, which grew into as much of a hit as its namesake tune, drawing in an estimated $611 million worldwide on a $52 million budget.
Though it didn’t fare so well in the ratings, earning just 55% on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics, Mamma Mia enjoys a dedicated fanbase, with numerous elements contributing to its success. Alongside a heartfelt plot, summery location, and catchy songs from Sweden’s pop royalty, the casting is spectacular, fearing the likes of Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski… phew.
Though fans had to wait an entire decade, Mamma Mia 2, titled Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (of course), did finally reach the big screen in 2018. Although it didn’t quite earn as much as its predecessor, it still bagged $402.3 million, with many hailing it a better movie thanks to its flashier dance routines, a standout performance from Lily James as young Donna, and, well, Cher. So, with talks of a third movie on the cards, here’s everything we know about Mamma Mia 3.
Will there be a Mamma Mia 3?
Although Mamma Mia 3 is yet to be confirmed, Judy Craymer – the woman who conceptualized Mamma Mia! and produced on the movies – recently teased that it’s very close to going ahead.
“It’s in its earliest stages,” she told Deadline in May 2023, before adding: “I don’t want to over-egg it, but I know there’s a trilogy there. There is a story there, and I do think Meryl should come back – and if the script is right, she would, I think, because she really loved playing Donna.”
This certainly isn’t the first time a threequel has been discussed. In December last year, Ol Parker, who directed Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, told Screen Rant: “Judy Craymer, the genius producer behind the musical and the first two films, always plans for it to be a trilogy.
“That’s all I can say. The first one made an enormous amount of money, and I think we made a fair amount too. I know that there is a hunger for a third, and I know that she has a plan. Wouldn’t it be lovely?”
Yes, Parker, yes it would.
Is there a Mamma Mia 3 release date?
No, since it still hasn’t been given the official green light, Mamma Mia 3 doesn’t have a release date right now. But we’ll be sure to keep this space updated upon any announcements.
Mamma Mia 3 cast: Who’d be in it?
If Mamma Mia 3 goes ahead, there’s no doubt it would deliver another starry cast, with many familiar faces expressing their interest in reprising their roles in the franchise.
This was teased by Craymer, who told Deadline that she’d figured out a way to bring back all of the fan fave cast and characters, which includes:
- Meryl Streep as Donna
- Pierce Brosnan as Sam
- Colin Firth as Harry
- Stellan Skarsgård as Bill
- Christine Baranski as Tanya
- Julie Walters as Rosie
- Amanda Seyfried as Sophie
- Dominic Cooper as Sky
- Rachel McDowall as Lisa
- Ricardo Montez as Stannos
- Mia Soteriou as Arina
- Philip Michael as Pepper
- Niall Buggy as Father Alex
- Ashley Lilley as Ali
- Cher as Ruby
Considering we’ve already journeyed back to the past in the sequel, it’s yet to be seen whether any of the younger iterations of the characters will be back for the third outing. Although given Lily James’ success as the young Donna, we certainly can’t rule it out.
Seyfried, who plays Donna’s daughter and the bride-to-be in the first movie, is not saying no. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight earlier this year, she explained: “I have absolutely no power, but we are waiting for the call. Do you know what I mean? There are enough ABBA songs, Judy Craymer is 100% on board. I don’t know what the Universal people are doing.”
As for Dominic Cooper, who plays Sophie’s husband Sky, he told Collider last year that he’s “not sure”, adding: “I did send out a text to the producer, immediately when that album got so well reviews and I’d heard a couple of the songs. I was like, ‘That’s phenomenal! They’re doing some new music again! Excellent!’ But who knows? I don’t know.”
Brosnan is also keen, telling Good Morning America in October 2022: “I’m in, too. Sure. It’s criminal how much fun you have on that movie. I think everybody would be in… I’m sure there’s some plans.”
However, and this is where we enter spoiler territory for Mamma Mia 2, there is a big question mark over whether Streep could come back as Donna.
Despite being such an integral part of the first two movies, fans will be well aware that her character sadly died at the end of the sequel. That being said, Craymer did announce that the star “should come back,” meaning they could find a way for Donna to appear – whether that be in ghostly form or flashbacks.
We could also see some new faces make an appearance, but for now all we can do is play the waiting game. We’ll be sure to keep this section updated as and when new information rolls in.
Mamma Mia 3 plot: What will it be about?
While no official plot details have been shared for Mamma Mia 3, there are a number of directions the movie could go in, especially since there’ll be no more of the mother-daughter bond between Sophie and Donna to focus on.
Instead, the threequel could look at Sophie’s bond with her new son, or it could explore the former dynamics between Donna and her mom, played by Cher. Or it could turn the focus towards Sky and his background.
Lily James had other ideas while speaking with the Radio Times following the release of Here We Go Again, saying: “We laughed that it could be Mamma Mia! The DNA test. You finally find out who the father is.”
But Amanda Seyfried doesn’t think it needs to get too bogged down with the plot details. “I mean, who cares? The plot doesn’t even matter at this point,” she told Variety. “ABBA’s got new songs; throw them in there. Get the cast together again. Meryl will absolutely come back for the entirety of it. Or else.”