ABBA sings, but money talks. And when movies continue to earn bucks like Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again — which quietly banked $392 million globally in tickets sold — sequels tend to follow. So, when CinemaBlend traveled to Greece to interview the Mamma Mia cast, we asked them for ideas for Mamma Mia 3, and they told us:
Jessica Keenan Wynn: I have a new idea. Which actually isn’t new, I think it’s been tossed around.
Lily James: Someone’s been talking about it, but yeah it’s a great idea
Wynn: It’s a look at… Ruby’s, Ruby’s version. Um, Cher, maybe Cher at a young age meeting Senior Cienfuegos, or what it was like for her having Donna. I feel like that could be an interesting angle, and it wouldn’t [change] anything else that hasn’t been established in the film. That’s a completely different storyline that we created this time.
James: It’s interesting as well because it would be a young Cher… good luck. [Laughing] … And then it would be like, because my Donna, young Donna, I say, like, ‘Years ago my mom was in Central America and she got her heart broken into a million little pieces.’ And that’s in reference to Senior Cienfuegos. So it would be cool. You could set it in Central America, you could have a young Cher, a young Andy Garcia…yeah.
So far, the “younger versions of the characters” approach has bolstered one very successful Mamma Mia sequel, as Here We Go Again came up with younger versions of its core cast. If and when Mamma Mia 3 moves forward, Lily James and Jessica Keenan Wynn think it’s only natural that they try that time-tested formula again, but shift the action to Central America, to explore young versions of new characters we met this time out, played by Cher and Andy Garcia.
The men of the movie went in a totally different direction. This one would be more avant garde, but if Mamma Mia 3 were to happen, the young men in the movie have some wild story pitches:
Hugh Skinner: [Go] far into the future this time around. So we’ve gone back. I want to go thousands of years into the future. I mean thousands. I think they should go much further forward, or much further back. So this one went a bit further forward, and a bit further back. The next one should be you know, prehistoric man. Neanderthal man. And androids in the future.
Jeremy Irvine: Yes, Neanderthal Donna.
Josh Dylan: And we’re amoebas. We’re just little amoebas.
Skinner: You want to hear the Neanderthals singing, I think though, don’t you?
Irvine and Dylan: Yeah. Yes, of course.
Skinner: I think it’d be amazing. And then the future would be like… everyone would be like imitates robot
This is the best. Actors involved with franchises should think way outside the box when it comes to pitching ideas for sequels. They aren’t writers. They can’t dictate what happens next. And who on this great green Earth doesn’t want to see a Neanderthal musical set to the music of ABBA? Or robots, moving to the beat of Take A Chance On Me?
The longer we stayed on the question, Lily James and Jessica Keenan Wynn — who play the young Donna and Tanya, respectively, in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again — circled back around to an actual concept for Mamma Mia 3, and maybe triggered an idea for Mamma Mia 4 in the process. They tell CinemaBlend:
Jessica Kennan Wynn: The other one was Mamma Mia 3: The DNA Test.
Lily James: The DNA test!
Wynn: Yeah, who the dad is.
James: Bill, obviously.
Wynn: Yeah, I moved over to that side….I thought it was Sam.
James: It could be any of them.
Wynn: I know.
James: Maybe it’s neither of them. None of them.
Wynn: [Gasps] Mamma Mia 4.
Needless to say, there are a lot of different directions that one could go with a third Mamma Mia movie. The series has already proven that it’s not afraid to kill off some of its Oscar-winning pillars — RIP, Meryl Streep’s Donna, killed by a goat, of all things. And maybe instead of a wedding, the motif is a funeral for a somber Mamma Mia 3?
This might give the studio pause: The first movie did $609M globally, while the sequel is currently at $392M. This might mean that interest in the franchise is fading, but that’s not really a red light against moving ahead with Mamma Mia 3 if the right idea is there. Also, there are a ton of movies that would love to get to nearly $400M in ticket sales, so Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again certainly is looked at as a success. Can the studio go back to that musical well a third time and continue to strike gold?
Here’s the cast, waxing poetic on what they want to see in a sequel:
CinemaBlend was lucky enough to travel to Greece to attend a beautiful press event on behalf of the Blu-ray and DVD release of the smash hit Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. While we were there, we learned how to choreograph a massive dance sequence to the tune of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” We toured shooting locations from the actual movie. And we interviewed cast members about the success of Here We Go Again, the loss of Donna, and the future of the series.
The film reached store shelves on October 23, and is also available to stream as we speak. If you want to stay up to date on all of the movies that are opening in theaters in 2019, be sure to bookmark our release-date guide and check it often, because dates and titles change all of the time.