Less than 24 hours after Variety announced that theatre director Phyllida Lloyd would be directing a movie based on the hit Broadway musical Mamma Mia!, they have broken the story that Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep is set to star in it. Lloyd, who directed the original “Mamma” in London as well as its Broadway incarnation, will make her feature directing debut on the pic, which will be shot in London and Greece.
Streep will play the rebellious single mother of a bride-to-be who never met her father. The daughter invites three likely paternal candidates to her wedding, and the ensuing conflict triggers the performance of 22 Abba hits including “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All.”
The crowd-pleasing musical has played in 130 cities around the world and had grossed $1.6 billion since its 1999 opening. Casting of Streep adds a level of prestige and comes at a time when the actress is coming off a the boffo mainstream pic playing the boss from hell in Fox 2000’s comedy The Devil Wears Prada. An accomplished singer, Mamma Mia! will be Streep’s first full-blown musical after singing in Postcards From the Edge and Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion.