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When it comes to silver screen musicals from the last decade, few can compare to 2008's Mamma Mia! A box office smash when it debuted, the film's all-star cast and delightful sense of fun and humor helped elevate it above typical big screen Broadway adaptations. That success will soon lead to the release of its sequel, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (clever, right) and the upcoming follow-up has just found its newest cast member in the form of Baby Driver's Lily James.
Hot off the heels of her recent turn in Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, it appears that actress Lily James has officially joined the cast of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! James will portray a young version of Meryl Streep's Donna in a series of flashback sequences that will shed new light onto the pasts of these fan-favorite characters. From there, the flashbacks will focus on the history of the relationships established in the first film and cut back and forth between the past and the present to show the audience how events that transpired years ago continue to have an influence over their lives.
The last few years have been kind to Lily James. In addition to her recent successful stint in Baby Driver, the 28-year-old actress also starred in the titular role of 2015's Cinderella, and she turned in scene-stealing performances as Lady Rose MacClare during her time on Downton Abbey. Probably most importantly, she looks like she can easily pass for a young Meryl Streep, so the casting feels perfect.
Of course, the Variety report that Lily James has joined the cast of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! isn't the only bit of recent good news for this burgeoning franchise. In addition to the casting of Ms. James, it was also recently revealed that The Good Fight's Christine Baranski (who starred as Tanya in the original film) would also return for the upcoming second installment.
Between these two major casting announcements, it's beginning to look like a serious Mamma Mia! reunion is on the horizon. From Amanda Seyfriend to Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, almost every major personality from the original 2008 film has signed on to lend their acting and vocal chops to the highly anticipated sequel. There are still a few stragglers in that regard (such as Stellan Skarsgard, who has yet to rejoin the cast), but Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is shaping up to become one of those rare sequels that manage to recapture the spirit of the first film.
What do you think of Lily James' upcoming role in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!? You'll be able to check out her performance around this time next year. The musical sequel will debut in theaters on July 20, 2018. In the meantime, be sure to check out our movie premiere guide to keep yourself up to date on the rest of this year's theatrical releases.