MAMMA MIA – HERE WE GO AGAIN – All you need to know about the hottest sequel of the year & Cher’s song is revealed.

Mamma Mia 2 is on the way and advance buzz is very good indeed – is it time to get excited  What Abba songs are in and which are out? What’s the story? What does Cher sing? What’s the lead song and all the gossip? THEGAYUK brings you all the info you need for the movie event of the Summer.

So why a sequel? Since Mamma Mia first appeared on the stage in 1999 it has played all around the World becoming the most successful musical of the Millennium. The film was released in 2008 and became the biggest hit at the UK Box Office of all time. Six months later the DVD was released and sold 5 million copies making it the biggest seller in History and attaining a record that will never ever be beaten – the disc is in one in four of every British Household. Abba have recently reformed and have recorded new music to be released in December so are hotter than ever, so purely and simply a sequel was inevitable.

What we know is that the movie is released Worldwide on 20th July, it is two hours long, will get a PG 13 rating and most importantly EVERYONE is back BOTH sides of the camera. The film wrapped just before last Christmas and was shot this time in Croatia rather than the Greek Islands and also Oxford together with other UK locations such as Hampton Court. Meryl Street did do one week of new filming but she has a minor part this time as it is set 10 years in the future when her daughter played by Amanda Seyfried is pregnant but is largely about flashbacks and how the Meryl Streep character (Donna) came to be in the original predicament of not knowing which of the three guys were her daughters father. Streep’s younger self is played by the incredible Lily James (Cinderella/Baby Driver) and a bevvy of stars take over the roles of the younger versions of all the other main characters. Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper and Colin Firth have full roles once again and there are new additions such as Andy Garcia, Omid Djalilli and Celia Imrie and a certain American gay icon we revealed in THEGAYUK back in January.

The queen of camp and everyone’s gay world Cher is in Mamma Mia 2 and not just as a cameo. She has one featured solo song and joins in 3 others playing the part of Meryl Streep’s mother and Seyfried/James’s Grandmother. Even though Cher is only 4 years older than Streep in real life! Of course, Cher started out as a musician with then-husband Sonny back in 1965 with the likes of the chart topper ‘I Got You Babe’. Midway through her career, she moved heavily into acting to huge success with the likes of Moonstruck, Mask, Silkwood and Mermaids the latter of which produced the infamous “Shoop Shoop Song”.

via GIPHY

Weirdly although she has kept up her music career she has only made one other musical in her 53 years at the top, the very unsuccessful Burlesque in 2010. Therefore Cher in a hit musical is very big news indeed and the gay internet will explode come July 20th for sure. The song she sings in Mamma Mia 2 is Abba’s third number one ‘Fernando’ which was not featured in the first movie – it is the groups second biggest seller after ‘Dancing Queen’ and was never included on any Abba studio album. Cher’s version which she debuted at the CinemaCom the exhibitor’s expo in Las Vegas and it is expected to get a single release but it won’t be the lead single from the movie.

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Both Benny and Bjorn from Abba appear in the movie in a university clip for Arrival album track ‘When I Kissed The Teacher’ whose superb video is already available online and is a return to form similar to the original ‘Dancing Queen’ let’s all head to the harbour singing clip which is the lead out track and is very good indeed. All well and good but there is a fly in the ointment as the groundswell for the lead single has drifted heavily towards the hit ‘Angel Eyes’ from the original Voulez Vous album.

Neither Teacher or Eyes were in the original movie nor indeed the stage musical. Mamma Mia 2 has a mix of songs not in Mamma Mia 1 together with extended versions of songs only briefly featured last time out such as ‘Thank You For The Music’, ‘Supertrooper’ and an epic choir lead full blown ‘I Have A Dream’. A couple of classics return to keep the fans happy including of course ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Mamma Mia’ done in the style of the Zorba The Greek music and ‘Waterloo’ which last time was just over the credits but this time gets its own set piece when the younger versions of Donna and Sam visit a Napoleon-themed restaurant! Yes, you read that right, this movie is full on camp. There is no room this time for ‘The Winner Takes It All’ as it was thought that there could be no improvement on the original Meryl/Pierce clifftop version.

So what new songs make the cut this time is the 64,000 dollar question on every Abba fans and gay man’s lips. This time you get epic sunlit productions of ‘I Wonder (Departure)’, Abba’s saddest ever song, ‘Kisses of Fire’, ‘The Name Of The Game’, ‘Happy Hawaii’, ‘I’ve Been Waiting For You’, ‘My Love My Life’, ‘As Good as New’, ‘If It Wasn’t For The Nights’, ‘On and On and On’, ‘Like an Angel Passing Through My Room’, ‘The Way Old Friends Do’ and ‘Head Over Heels’ but still no ‘The Day Before You Came’ or Abba’s legendary unreleased 25th hit single ‘Put On Your White Sombrero’ which was dropped from its release spot in 1982 as the band split on the eve of its release (It is available only on the Box set).

There is a star-studded European premier organised and there are strong rumours that all four of the original line up will attend which they have not done so since the theatre production premiered in Stockholm 16 years ago. The team behind the Mamma Mia juggernaut are the same and the writing has now been taken over by Richard Curtis of Four Weddings/Comic Relief and Notting Hill fame so expect the laugh quota to be up. They are now in discussions to produce a second stage musical to tour the World to partner the original so it looks as though Mamma Mia Here We Go Again is here to stay. The musical stage production depends on whether the movie/CD and DVD are hits and with the film being released on the anniversary exactly the same day 10 years on as the original means that hopefully the stars are aligning, of course it is perfect counter programmed entertainment to the World Cup Football tournament too alongside Oceans 8, Book Club and I feel Pretty which will help Mamma Mia 2 cost $40 Million dollars and its predicted box office is $120 Million so the stage musical should be green lit in August all being well.

We will review the new movie next month.