The trailer for the sequel to 2008’s movie-musical Mamma Mia has incited panic among loyal fans after it hinted that one of its beloved characters has been killed off.
Donna Sheridan, played by Meryl Streep, does not appear to feature in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! if the film’s trailer, released online on Friday, is anything to go by.
The two-and-a-half minute preview reveals Donna’s daughter, Sophie, (played by Amanda Seyfried) is pregnant and is scared of “doing it all alone”, suggesting her beloved mother has died.
The film sees an emotional Sophie revisit her mother’s origins story, with British actress Lily James portraying a young Donna as she juggles multiple romances in her early 20s.
But the trailer makes no reference to present-day Donna, instead using only old footage of her from the first film and referring to her in the past tense.
Despite the return of original cast members like Seyfriend, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, fans aren’t thrilled with the insinuation Donna has been killed off.
“So they had 10 years to think about the sequel of Mamma Mia and they CHOSE to let Donna die?!” one Twitter user complained.
“Judy Craymer what have you done?” asked another of Craymer, the producer who came up with the idea to write a musical around the songs of super-successful Swedish pop band, ABBA.
In a confusing twist, the film’s page on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) still lists Streep as a cast member in the second film.
— Disney Pol (@DisneyPol) December 21, 2017
— Me, myself & I (@just_gr1) December 21, 2017
— Kryzzle (@jayzhelle) December 21, 2017
I have no words to describe how devastated I am…. I cannot believe Donna is not gonna be here anymore. Rip angel. DONNA SHERIDAN DESERVED SO MUCH BETTER 💗😭 #MammaMiaHereWeGoAgain #mammamia2 #mammamia2 Donna #mammamia2 meryl #MerylStreep #mammamia
— Meixi (@MeixiPotts) December 21, 2017
If Donna is alive why is Sophie singing with Tanya and Rosie? And in the second picture Sophie looks dressed for something but Donna is in her dungarees… I’m sorry but you can’t just kill off Donna!! #MammaMiaHereWeGoAgain #MammaMia2 #MammaMia pic.twitter.com/iyfTJ1aICb
— 🧞♀️Heather🧚🏻♀️ (@Heather_G98) December 21, 2017
While Streep might be missing from the highly-anticipated sequel, which hits Australian cinemas in July, 2018, there’s been a notable addition to the cast in her absence: Cher.
The 1970s music icon and Oscar-winner plays Donna’s mother, who unexpectedly turns up to a party at Sophie’s home in Greece – clad in a suitably lavish outfit, of course.
The first film, based on the stage musical, grossed over $US609 million worldwide ($709 million), but was widely panned by film critics.
Streep earned a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the original, in which so showed off her surprisingly impressive vocal chops.