Mamma Mia! fans have one question after watching the trailer for the film’s sequel: Is Meryl Streep’s Donna dead?!
Here’s why they’re concerned…
The opening of the trailer sees Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) greeting her mother’s longtime friends Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters) on the docks of her small Greek island. “I’m so glad you’re here,” Sophie says. “I’m pregnant, but I don’t know how to do this by myself.”
“By myself”? Sophie’s fiancé, Sky (Dominic Cooper), was shown later on in the footage, but her mom is largely M.I.A. for the present-day scenes.
Adding to the mystery, Tanya and Rosie tell Sophie, “Your mother is the bravest person we ever met,” before launching into flashback mode to tell the story of young Donna (Cinderella‘s Lily James) — which is what the sequel is primarily about.
These details have led many viewers to wonder if Donna died in between the events of Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again. So, when Sophie exclaims in the trailer, “I’ve never felt closer to my mom. She wasn’t scared because she had me,” it could read as her realizing she, too, can endure a pregnancy without her mother by her side.
Some have already taken to Twitter in protest of the apparent decision. Others came with jokes.
Filming on Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again wrapped on Wednesday ahead of the big trailer debut. Streep does appear in the sequel, as does Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine, Alexa Davies, Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan, and Jessica Keenan Wynn.
If Streep’s character is indeed dead in the upcoming film, at least we have her Silkwood costar. Cher made her grand debut as Sophie’s grandmother.
Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again is scheduled for theaters on July 20, 2018.