By Rebecca Ford
Cinderella is heading to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi.
Baby Driver star Lily James has signed on to star in Universal’s sequel to Mamma Mia, the 2008 adaptation of the stage musical based on ABBA songs that was one of the biggest hits in studio history, grossing more than $600 million worldwide.
Ol Parker, the writer of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel, wrote and will direct Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, with the new musical being slotted for a release on July 20, 2018.
Several stars of the original film — including Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Colin Firth — will be returning for the sequel, which will include ABBA songs not featured in the first film—along with some reprised favorites. James, who sung “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” for Cinderella, will play the role of “Young Donna.” The film goes back and forth in time to show how relationships forged in the past resonate in the present.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! once more brings the producers of the original film, Littlestar’s Judy Craymer and Playtone’s Gary Goetzman, together. Craymer is also the creator and producer of the hit stage musical. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are aboard again to provide music and lyrics and serve as executive producers.
Universal’s senior vp of production Kristen Lowe and creative executive Lexi Barta will oversee production for the studio.
James was the breakout star of Disney’s live-action hit Cinderella. She was most recently seen in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver with Ansel Elgort, and starred in mini-series War & Peace. Coming up, the busy actress stars in the Winston Churchill drama Darkest Hour with Gary Oldman, romantic drama Guernsey and modern Western Little Woods with Tessa Thompson. She’s repped by UTA and Tavistock Wood Management in the UK.