Her character was famously very much not alive in the sequel.
Believe it or not, it's been 15 years since Mamma Mia! arrived in theaters and had everyone singing along to Abba while simultaneously dreaming about taking a Grecian getaway. In a new oral history of the film, star Meryl Streep explained that she'd love to come back for a third installment, even though some very pertinent details (her character Donna's death, for one), could keep her from returning. However, the cast, crew, and fans wouldn't let something as silly as facts and mortality come between them and one more go at the beloved franchise.
Producer Judy Craymer told Vogue that there "has to be another one because people want it," but "the trouble is we’re all getting older."
"But," she added, "we couldn’t be in a better place as far as having a cast who are eager to do it."
Streep explained that she's eager to come back, saying, "if there’s an idea that excites me, I’m totally there."
She offered some outrageous ideas, including reincarnation and a soap-opera-style evil-twin death.
"I’m up for anything," she said. "I told Judy if she could figure out a way to reincarnate Donna, I’m into that. Or it could be like in one of those soap operas where Donna comes back and reveals it was really her twin sister that died."
Streep added, "We may have to call it Grand-Mamma Mia! by the time we make it!"
Craymer addressed the criticism that came with the decision to kill off Donna, saying that she was "chastised on social media for killing off Meryl." She went on to assuage fans, saying, "I promise I didn’t do it on purpose."
"She was hesitant about doing another film because she doesn’t typically do sequels," Craymer explained of Streep's outlook on Mamma Mia!'s sequel. "But I know she loved coming back to film her scenes for Here We Go Again! She felt the love around her and the joy of reuniting with those people, so I think that made her more open to the prospect of a third."
Craymer added that from the beginning, she imagined the Mamma Mia! universe as a trilogy. She even mentioned several storylines that she'd love to explore, which are sure to get fans excited, too.
"We went back and forth in time with the second one, so now we have the creative license to explore this world further," she added. "We still don’t really know what happened to Lily James’s version of Donna in those middle years. Or what happens to Donna and Sam after the first movie? Will Harry ever settle down?"
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