It’s been a long time coming, but Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is definitely worth the wait.
The long-awaited sequel topped the box office when it was released a decade after its predecessor, and is now available to buy in the BT TV Store and watch on your TV box.
Set mainly after the events of the first film, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again also features flashback scenes, telling the story of Donna's arrival on the Greek island and her first meetings with daughter Sophie's three possible fathers.
We reveal the best bits about the film, who’s in the cast, the fascinating filming facts you didn’t know, and why you should watch it.
3 reasons to watch...
1. The feel-good factor
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again has the same thrilling feel-good factor that made the 2008 original such a hit (it grossed $615 million worldwide on a $52 million budget).
Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried lit up the audience with their vocals 10 years ago - and the cast do a stellar job of doing the same in the sequel.
The Dancing Queen scene - which encompasses the majority of the film’s cast - is arguably the most feel-good scene of the movie.
And you can’t fault the dazzling Greek setting to whisk you away to holidays of yesteryear - and make you wish you had your wedding or christening on the top of a hill in Greece.
2. Thank you for the music
Abba has a huge back catalogue of music - eight studio albums' worth, in fact - so there was never a question of there not being enough songs to complement the plot.
Any hit songs that weren’t used in the first film decided the narrative of the sequel, and some songs from the first film - Dancing Queen and Super Trouper, for instance - were included again.
According to IMDB, the sequel’s writers Richard Curtis and Ol Parker stayed in a caravan for three days, pinned the names of their favourite Abba songs to a wall and tried to make the songs fit in with the storyline - with some of the lyrics tweaked to fit the plotif necessary.
Even the musical interludes between scenes are instrumental versions of some of Abba’s lesser-known songs.
3. The ensemble cast… and Cher!
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again combines the original cast - including Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Piers Brosnan and Colin Firth - with a new, younger cast who appear in flashback scenes, including Hugh Skinner and Jeremy Irvine (more on the cast below).
For Meryl herself, despite a 40-year Hollywood career, it’s the first time she’s done a sequel (we won’t say anymore on her role as to not ruin it for those who haven’t seen it).
As for Cher - it’s her first on-screen film role since 2010. After appearing in the film, she decided to make a full album of Abba covers, aptly titled Dancing Queen - her first album in five years.
Buy Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and watch on your TV box
Trivia: Did you know…
1. The film’s director, London-born Oliver ‘Ol’ Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) was initially hired as just a writer on the film.
A few months into writing the script, producer Judy Craymer offered him the directing job.
Parker told Vanity Fair’s Little Gold Men podcast: “[I assumed] it would be someone far more elevated than me hired to direct a dancing sequence on 14 boats… I’m guessing Rob Marshall (Into The Woods) and Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) had already said no.”
2. Parker has been married to actress Thandie Newton since 1992 and the couple have three children. Thandie accompanied her husband to the world premiere of the film in London earlier this year, alongside the couple’s two eldest daughters (pictured below).
3. The character of Ruby Sheridan - Donna’s mother, and Sophie’s grandmother - was written with only Cher in mind. Ruby, a famous singer with a tortured relationship with her daughter, is mentioned in passing in the first film. Parker saw this as a way to “go deeper and moodier” in the sequel.
He told Vulture: “When I put her in the first draft I was like, ‘This is Cher, by the way’… in this case I refused to contemplate anyone other than Cher. Thankfully, Cher said yes.”
Cher handpicked Andy Garcia as her love interest Fernando - whose character was invented solely so that Cher could sing Fernando at him. It was worth it, believe us.
4. The sequel, despite being set on a fictional Greek island, was shot largely on the Croatian island of Vis. Additional scenes were shot in Oxford and Shepperton Studios in England. Filming took place between August and December 2017.
5. Julie Walters - who returns to play Rosie in the sequel - became a Dame during filming, and was congratulated by cast and crew with a surprise singalong, along with a mock breast badge and ribbon:
Nothing has brought me more joy today than Julie Walters being congratulated on the set of MAMMA MIA! 2 for becoming a Dame. I am in bliss.— Jorge Molina (@colormejorge) November 9, 2017
(ft. Christine Baranski in a caftan) pic.twitter.com/ie5T08V3bt
Walters actually missed a morning of filming to attend an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
6. Richard Curtis’ daughter Scarlett was the person who suggested writing the sequel with flashback elements, comparing it to the structure of Godfather 2.
This is a happy thing; some of the best people I'll ever know. Also, the beautiful woman with purple hair at the back left is the magnificent @scarcurtis, who came up with the original idea for #mammamia2. https://t.co/iSTjwrXsU0— Ol Parker (@olparker1) June 14, 2018
7. Singer Cher announced her casting by sharing a photo of silver platformed Abba-style boots on Twitter:
8. Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson serve as Executive Producers on the film. They must be Abba fans!
Who’s in the cast?
Amanda Seyfried as Sophie
Dominic Cooper as Sky
Lily James as Young Donna
Meryl Streep as Donna
Colin Firth as Harry
Hugh Skinner as Young Harry
Pierce Brosnan as Sam
Jeremy Irvine as Young Sam
Stellan Skarsgård as Bill
Josh Dylan as Young Bill
Julie Walters as Rosie
Alexa Davies as Young Rosie
Christine Baranski as Tanya
Jessica Keenan Wynn as Young Tanya
Cher as Ruby Sheridan
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again also stars Andy Garcia as Fernando and Omid Djalili as a Greek official.
Watch this if you liked…
Mamma Mia!, Grease, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Sound of Music, Hairspray, Walking On Sunshine.
More in the Store:
The first Mamma Mia! film is available to buy or rent now in the BT TV Store.
Fancy another singalong? Golden Globe-winning musical The Greatest Showman is available to buy or rent in the BT TV Store too.
Images: © 2018 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.