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Mamma Mia! (2008) Poster

(2008)

Trivia

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Pierce Brosnan had no idea what the project was about when he signed on. The producers told him it was being filmed in Greece and Meryl Streep was starring. Brosnan said he would've signed on for anything involving Streep, describing her as "that gorgeous blonde I fancied terribly in Drama School."
Meryl Streep went to Stockholm to do her vocal for the song "The Winner Takes it All". She finished it in one take. Benny Andersson, former ABBA member and co-composer of the songs, calls Streep "a miracle".
The "Slipping Through My Fingers" scene includes a short clip of Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried laughing. According to Phyllida Lloyd the crew blasted heavy metal music to get the pair to laugh so much.
Stellan Skarsgård on why he flashed his behind: "We decided I should be cooking on the boat. I thought I should have an apron on. The director (Phyllida Lloyd) did not know I would be naked under there and have those butt tattoos. So when the camera rolled, I turned around right in front of it. The cameraman jumped and screamed, while Phyllida keeled over laughing."
At the start of the "Dancing Queen" scene, the picture on Meryl Streep's bedroom mirror is Amanda Seyfried's professional head shot. At the end of 'Our Last Summer,' Donna is holding a collection of photos, including an actual baby picture of Seyfried.
All the cast performed their own singing.
The beginning of "Super Trouper" is sung live, a cappella, by the actresses, Streep, Walters and Baranski.
In December 2008, Mamma Mia! became the highest grossing film of all time in the U.K., smashing the previous record set by Titanic (1997). Avatar (2009) has beaten that record.
According to Meryl Streep, Julie Walters injured herself whilst filming the "Dancing Queen" musical sequence, by tripping over some rocks on a cobbled street, but "soldiered on".
Mandy Moore, Amanda Bynes, Rachel McAdams, and Emmy Rossum were all considered for the part of Sophie. Olivia Newton-John and Michelle Pfeiffer were considered for the part of Donna. Bill Nighy was considered for one of the "father" parts.
Meryl Streep first saw the musical in October 2001 with her daughter Louisa and her daughter's friends in Manhattan. Streep wrote to the producers to praise them for bringing a little happiness and fun to the lives of New York's people following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Several night scenes, including "I Have A Dream," were actually shot during the day, then treated in post-production.
Bill Anderson's boat flies the flag of Sweden, native country of both ABBA and Stellan Skarsgård.
Phyllida Lloyd also directed the original Broadway play.
Set a new mark for the biggest weekend premiere ever for a movie musical with $27.6 mil. Former record holder was Hairspray (2007).
In the stage musical, and its soundtrack, Bill's last name is Austin. It was changed to Anderson in the film to fit in with the Swedish nationality of Stellan Skarsgård.
All of the songs were re-orchestrated for the film version, differing from the stage version and their original arrangements. "Under Attack", "One of Us," and "Knowing Me, Knowing You" were removed from the script. "The Name of the Game" was filmed, but removed from the final cut; it is included as an extra on the DVD release. "Thank You for the Music" plays over the closing credits. "When All is Said and Done" was never part of the stage show. Donna hums a few bars of "Fernando," one of ABBA's biggest hits, as she walks into the old goat house while the fathers are hiding upstairs. (The song is about war, and wouldn't fit in the story.)
An undercurrent of the film is to structure the story as a Greek comedy (like Aristophanes), including patterns of strophe and anti-strophe, a chorus representing the common people, and costumes matched to moods of the characters, including masks and the phallic props typical of Greek comedy.
Early in pre-production, the producers suggested including a newly-written original song, to qualify for the Academy Awards' Original Song Category. Former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus refused. Andersson composed some additional music, but the film was ineligible for the Original Song category because all songs were already published.
The first film shot on the new 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios, following a fire after Casino Royale (2006) wrapped. The new 59,000 sq. ft. stage was used for song and dance numbers that could not be filmed in the sun in Greece.
Donny Osmond was considered for the role of Sam.
Dawn French was originally cast as Rosie. After the creators described her character as "the fat, funny one," and the musical director was clearly not impressed with her singing, she declined the role. In her autobiography "Dear Fatty," Dawn said that she is a fan of ABBA, but she is not a fan of 'Mamma Mia!', and only originally agreed to do the film because Meryl Streep was starring.
Chris Klein auditioned for the role of Sky.
When the stage show was performed in Edinburgh, the male dancers included a 'Highland Fling' in 'Lay All Your Love On Me'. In the film, one dancer performs the same steps during the song.
The stage play first opened in London on April, 6th, 1999, at the Prince Edward theater. Its North American debut was May 23rd, 2000, at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre. The original Toronto cast then started Mamma Mia!'s pre-Broadway tour in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. During the Chicago performances, Louise Pitre and Tina Maddigan were invited to play their same roles in the original Broadway cast. The Broadway opening directed by Phyllida Lloyd, was October 18th, 2001, at the Winter Garden Theater, the former home of "Cats". The play was nominated by the 2002 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book; Pitre was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical. By January 2010, the play had exceeded 4700 performances on Broadway, and is the tenth longest running Boardway show ever (February, 2013). As of April 2007, Mamma Mia! has open productions in: New York, London, Las Vegas, Madrid, Moscow, Stuttgart, Fukuoka, Gothenburg, and Essen. The US and International touring companies have performed in cities all over the globe, including Melbourne, Australia, Utrecht, The Netherlands, and Copenhagen and Horsens, Denmark. According to Variety, the play's original producer and writer "were broke when they first tried to put the show together and were even snubbed by the Swedish pop group whose music formed the basis for the show. They are now two of the wealthiest women in England."
Cher was offered the role of Tanya. On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.42 (2010) she said she had to decline the role due to concert tour commitments.
An inner joke when Sophie meets her "fathers", instead of Pierce Brosnan is Colin Firth who says the catchphrase of James Bond: "I'm Bright, Harry Bright".
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Cameo 

Benny Andersson:  playing piano during the 'Dancing Queen' sequence
Björn Ulvaeus:  dressed as a Greek god during the closing credits sequence
Rita Wilson:  dressed as a Greek goddess during the closing credits sequence.

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