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Acting, Singing and Dancing Queen Cher Joins ‘Mamma Mia’ Sequel

The Goddess of Pop is returning to film after seven years.
By  · Published on October 18th, 2017

The Goddess of Pop is returning to film after seven years.

Money, money, money. The 2008 live-action musical Mamma Mia! earned a lot of it; over $600 million in fact. It was always a risk that the inevitable sequel would find it hard to beat numbers like that, but now, with the attachment of pop deity Cher, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’s chances just improved. Variety has confirmed that the sequel will see the Comeback Queen make her first onscreen appearance since 2010 when she took a leading role in Burlesque.

This news comes highly-anticipated since Cher’s cinematic absence is uncharacteristic. Before and after she won an Oscar for her performance in 1987’s Moonstruck, the singer-dancer-actor was putting in regular turns in movies like Mask, The Witches of Eastwick, Mermaids and Tea with Mussolini. In 1983, she co-starred in Silkwood with Meryl Streep, performances for which both received Oscar nods. Here We Go Again will give the two a chance to reminisce: along with all of the key actors from the first film, Streep has been confirmed to reprise her role in the sequel.

The first film revolves around the attempts of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) to find her father, whom she wants to walk down the aisle within her Greek island-set wedding to Sky (Dominic Cooper). Donna (Streep), Sophie’s single mom, scrambles to prepare her crumbling Aegean hotel for the wedding with the help of best friends Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski).

Sophie and Donna have a close relationship, but one thing Sophie’s mother definitely does not know is that her daughter has invited three of her old flames – Sam (Pierce Brosnan), Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) and Harry (Colin Firth) – along to the wedding in the hopes of working out which one is the real father of the bride. In the unlikely event that you haven’t seen the movie, rest assured that the inevitable mishaps you just envisioned do happen, underscored by a bevy of ABBA karaoke favorites.

Plot details for the follow-up are being kept under tight wraps, but given previous casting announcements and an image on the movie’s IMDb profile, we know that Here We Go Again will chiefly focus on one particular storyline hinted at in the first movie. A musical scene in Mamma Mia! teased us with the revelation that Donna, Rosie, and Tanya had been something of a girl group sensation in their youth, while flashback scenes also gave us glimpses into the punk pasts of Sam, Bill and the uptight Harry. With the attachments of Lily James, Alexa Davies, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner and Josh Dylan, Here We Go Again is set to turn back time and explore the musical youths of the first film’s middle-aged leads.

As per a New York Post scoop, Cher will appear as Donna’s mother in this portion of the film, which will flash back to something like the ’70s or ’80s, given Donna’s approximate age in Mamma Mia!. Aside from a line in the first movie which tells us Donna was abandoned by her mother after becoming pregnant with Sophie, we don’t know much about her character yet. However, if, as her Twitter suggests, Cher will be wearing these platform boots, we can only assume Donna’s mother is as equally musically-inclined as her daughter.

Although she’s proved herself an actor of worth, it’s unlikely Oscars will come calling for Cher’s role here. (Even 20-times nominated Meryl Streep didn’t get an Academy Award nod for her turn as Donna in 2008.) Cher’s attachment to the film is more remarkable in terms of musical potential, then, since she will be the only professional singer in the movie’s main line-up. (Although she’ll be facing tough some competition from amateur vocal powerhouse Pierce Brosnan.)

There’s no word yet on whether the sing-along sequel will feature any of the “Believe” crooner’s own ballads, but from her tweets, we know that she’ll be covering at least one legendary ABBA song.

While it looks like “Fernando” is getting an encore in the sequel, it’s not likely that many more of the songs from the first movie will be reprised here, since Here We Go Again‘s soundtrack will need some new tracks at least.

With over 100 songs to their name, ABBA’s output is prolific enough to easily fill out another 21-number musical. However, Mamma Mia! and the stage musical it’s based on definitely cherry-picked the most plot-friendly songs from the Swedish foursome’s catalog, so Here We Go Again may have a problem rooting out some relatable numbers.

Let’s be positive, though. ABBA’s discography is incredibly diverse, opening up so many doors as to where the plot for the sequel could go. For instance: Sophie and Sky never actually get married in the first movie, but if they do decide to tie the knot in, say, a Mexican-themed ceremony, “Put On Your White Sombrero” would be the perfect tune for the mother of the bride’s milliner to belt out. Should they break up, the melancholic melody of “Hasta Manaña” would be equally appropriate.

And in the event that writer-director Ol Parker (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) deems it fit to include a constitutional crisis in the movie’s plot? Well, ABBA has him covered there, too (“The King Has Lost His Crown”).

Whatever songs make the final cut, Cher’s addition to the cast of Here We Go Again is a bit of fun news the world could do with right now. We’ll have even more reason to look forward to the movie’s July 20, 2018, release if, as Cher’s cryptic answer to a fan’s inquiry implies, it gives us a Cher-Streep duet.

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Farah Cheded is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects. Outside of FSR, she can be found having epiphanies about Martin Scorsese movies here @AttractionF and reviewing Columbo episodes here.