Whenever a sequel gets announced, one of the first questions that needs to be answered is the question of how the follow-up justifies its existence. That was a debate that Mamma Mia! actress Dame Julie Walters had to contend with when she first heard about Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and it turns out that she actually thought the movie would be bad as a result. In a recent interview, the actress explained:
I couldn't see how it could work and what they could do with us. So, my first reaction when my agent told me they were making Mamma Mia 2 was 'Oh God no, it is going to be awful.' But the script was so good. I think it is fantastic. I think it is better [than the first one].
So, it's clear from Dame Julie Walters comments to Good Housekeeping that she doesn't feel that way about the upcoming sequel anymore. However, early on in the process of the film's development, she genuinely did not think that a sequel to the 2008 musical could work. It wasn't until she got her hands on the film's script and learned about the overarching story of the sequel that she decided the film was not only worth pursuing but actually superior to the one that preceded it.
Of course, it is worth noting that Julie Walters does not have an inherent aversion to the concept of sequels, as she has appeared in several over the course of her career. In fact, the British actress not only appeared in both Paddington and Paddington 2 but she also frequently appeared as Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise. Her issue with Mamma Mia 2 specifically stemmed from the idea that she didn't see how it could work, but her concerns were dashed as she immersed herself deeper and deeper into the project.
Telling two parallel stories set decades apart, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again returns to the same characters from the original to find Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) pregnant with her first child. Struggling to cope with the recent loss of her mother (Meryl Streep), the film sees Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Walters) return to lend a hand, along with Sophie's three dads (Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, and Colin Firth) as Sophie prepares for the arrival of the baby and learns more about her mother's past.
We'll be able to judge for ourselves if Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again works when the movie debuts in theaters later this summer on July 20. Make sure to stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates related to the upcoming sequel, and head over to our comprehensive movie premiere guide for more details on all of the biggest and best films headed to theaters this year!