The post-Downton Abbey career path has been good to Lily James. Since Mr. Carson shuttered the doors of Downton in 2016, James, who played Lady Rose Aldridge, has been able to take full advantage of her efforts on the long-running ITV/PBS period drama. In 2015, James starred in the title role in the 2015 Disney film, Cinderella, in 2016, she starred opposite James Norton (Happy Valley, Grantchester) in the BBC adaptation of War and Peace and, already in 2017, she has starred in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, alongside Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey. Ok, there was that 2016 role in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies but we’ll just forget about that one for the time being.
Jane Austen and zombies aside, it’s safe to say her post-Downton career is off to a good start. Especially with the recent news that James will play a young Meryl Streep (a.k.a. Donna) in the forthcoming Mamma Mia sequel, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
Several stars of the original Mamma Mia including Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Colin Firth, will be returning for the sequel, which will include ABBA songs not featured in the first film, along with some reprised favorites. James, who sang “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” for 2015’s Cinderella, will play the role of ‘Young Donna’. According to the The Hollywood Reporter, the film will go back and forth in time to show how relationships forged in the past resonate in the present.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! is scheduled for release in Summer 2018