Here’s why Meryl Streep’s Donna is [redacted] in Mamma Mia 2
Spoiler ahead for Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, be warned.
Meryl Streep’s Donna is revealed to be dead at the start of the sequel, with the movie then sprawling back through her life from graduation to the birth of her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried).
She does appear in the movie in a small capacity, but her screen-time is (obviously) somewhat small – something many would assume could be because of Streep’s availability or her just not fancying it that much.
But writer-director Ol Parker has revealed that the real reason Donna kicked the bucket is because… he wanted Donna to have kicked the bucket.
It was Richard Curtis’s daughter Scarlet who had the idea to take The Godfather Part II’s lead and do a sort of prequel-meets-sequel, and Parker figured it would have the most emotional impact if Donna was no longer around.
“If it had worked out that Meryl was going to be the lead for the whole thing, then they would have waited for a time when Meryl could be the lead for the whole thing,” he told Vulture.
“It was about finding the best story to tell that worked for everybody and this was the story we settled on.”
Recalling his pitch to the producers and original stars, he added: “I think it’s the most meaningful and emotional and impactful way to tell that story and this was my suggestion.
“Obviously it was greatly discussed with everyone and Meryl was thrilled and delighted with it.”
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again – which is ace, by the way – is out now.