The Mamma Mia! 2 trailer has arrived and promptly sent fans into overdrive after appearing to suggest that Donna (played by Meryl Streep) is dead.
The two-and-a-half minutes of footage saw all the gang returning to the island to mark the birth of Sophie’s first child. But among the new footage there wasn’t so much of a glimpse of Streep’s Donna, who only cropped up in archive flashbacks from the first film.
It didn’t take long for the panic to set in.
you’re telling me; I’ve waited 10 years for mamma mia 2 and they killed off donna sheridan; keep ur goddamn movie I don’t care how iconic #2 is gonna be; no meryl, no mamma.
— emily (@leighsearp) December 17, 2017
well the Mamma Mia 2 trailer has me suicidal. where is Meryl, what have they done to Donna, my heart is broken and I shouldn’t feel that way about the sequel to a film that changed my life
— high kicking bitch ? (@quietbatpeople) December 16, 2017
But we’re here to put your fears at bay. Because a Mamma Mia! sequel wouldn’t be a Mamma Mia! sequel without Meryl, surely? Even if we do now have Cher (yes, CHER!).
A detailed analysis of a behind-the-scenes teaser trailer – and a deep, deep dive on social media – has surfaced some crucial evidence in the investigation. And while the first official trailer doesn’t reveal any new scenes with Meryl, we can be almost certain that she was on set. And if she was on set, then there’s every possibility her character isn’t dead, right? RIGHT??
1. This picture.
If Mamma Mia! marketing execs had conspired to drum up a social media storm with Meryl’s absence, well, they forgot to pass on the message to Judy Craymer. Here We Go Again’s producer shared a snap earlier this week of the cast photos on her wall. And who’s the very first one? MERYL.
2. These chairs.
This comes from the behind the scenes trailer that was released early and gives us a glimpse of the cast’s chairs. Pride of place is only bloomin’ MERYL.
3. Here she is!
Another snap courtesy of Judy Craymer. Here’s Pierce Brosnan looking very deep in conversation on set. And who’s he talking to? MERYL.
4. And again!
Exhibit 4 needs close examination. It emerged as part of the behind-the-scenes trailer and offers a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpse of Meryl back in her dungarees. Now, some might say it’s a flashback from the first film but take a closer look at her co-stars.
Pierce Brosnan doesn’t appear much changed from his first outing as Harry Carmichael but check out Dominic Cooper – shorter hair and paler skin, this is definitely not the Sky of the first film. And looking on is MERYL – alive and kicking and enjoying whatever they’re all chatting about.
5. Cher’s catch up
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the glorious fact that Cher is gracing Mamma Mia! 2 with her presence. She briefly emerges in the trailer – playing Donna’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother – and took to social media earlier this year when she was filming her role.
Strange,4got I like Making films(except 4 the hrs?)It's like riding A bike?‼️ Ppl on set kind & talented. Hung with MS,She Shines?
— Cher (@cher) October 21, 2017
It turns out Cher writes tweets just how we sent texts when we were 14. But the crucial phrase here is “hung with MS”. Cher and MERYL caught up on set and YES SHE SHINES BECAUSE SHE’S A DANCING QUEEN.
Definitive proof that Donna is alive in the Mamma Mia! sequel? Not exactly… but Meryl Streep was certainly on set and maybe – just maybe – this is all a crafty marketing ploy to make us all go and see the film in a bid to ease our anxiety and make the studio lots of money, money, money. Fingers crossed.