Originally appeared on Cineplex.com on July 19, 2018
It’s time to go back to the island.
Sophie, all her dads and Donna and the Dynamos are getting back together for one more round on the remote Greek island of Kalokairi to give moviegoers one more ride through time and the ABBA back catalogue in Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again.
The good news for ABBA fans is that the sequel won’t be abandoning the hits. Some of the staples that made the musical and the original film the phenomenon they both were are coming back for their encores. “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” “S.O.S.,” and, naturally, “Mamma Mia” have all been confirmed for inclusion in the sequel through various pre-release interviews and/or by appearing in the film’s final trailer.
But the sequel can’t simply rely on “once more with feeling!” so the new cast members will dig deeper into the vast back catalogue of the Swedish musical giants. ABBA’s Benny Andersson confirmed that the new film will also feature the hit “Fernando” (more on that, too, in a bit) and Brosnan confirmed the use of the 1976 classic “Knowing Me, Knowing You.”
The film also comes at a very interesting time in terms of ABBA’s history. The group continues to move the music industry sales needle despite resting comfortably in its fifth decade since formation. The group’s “Super Troupers” exhibit hit London in late 2017, followed by a stunning April announcement that the group had plans to record new music for the first time since it dissolved in 1982.
That announcement, in turn, found the group planning to hit the road with touring avatars (ABBA-tars?), and pushed its iconic hits compilation ABBA: Gold back into the Billboard 200. This news also happened to break around the time of 2018’s Eurovision song contest, which just happened to be where the group launched its career. The group remains one of the most recognizable winners of the contest to date (alongside 1988 winner Celine Dion).
To stoke the reunion fever even further, ABBA posted a fresh picture of the group recording in the studio last month, riling up its fanbase even more and setting the stage perfectly for another cinematic trip to the island.
With a blend of old and new, the franchise is hoping to rekindle the audience’s love affair both with the classic song catalogue, as well as the memorable characters and performances that made the original both an awards season notable and a $600 million-plus worldwide box office draw.
Ah, what the hell. Here’s “Waterloo” for good measure.
This is a re-worked version of the story. I have chosen to use this version both to focus exclusively on the music of ABBA and its sudden timeliness, as well as to avoid some editorial license taken by the editors. To see the piece as it appeared on-site, click here.