Variety reports that Streep will play the role of single mother Donna Sheridan, the part created on Broadway by Louise Pitre. Producers include Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman; executive producers are Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson as well as ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
Phyllida Lloyd, who directed both the London and Broadway mountings of the international hit musical, will make her feature-film directing debut on "Mamma Mia!," which will begin shooting this summer in both Greece and London. The screenplay has been penned by Catherine Johnson, who wrote the book for the musical.
Producer Craymer told the industry paper, "[Meryl Streep] was always at the top of our wish list, and she encapsulates the spirit and energy and has the powerhouse qualities that character requires."
Although Streep has previously sung in the films "Postcards From the Edge" and "A Prairie Home Companion," "Mamma Mia!" would be her first movie musical.
Mamma Mia! employs the hit songs of famed pop group ABBA to tell the story of Sophie Sheridan, a young girl who hopes to discover the identity of her father. On the eve of her wedding, she brings three men from her mother Donna's past back to the Greek island they visited over two decades ago. Mamma Mia! features music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, a book by Catherine Johnson, direction by Phyllida Lloyd and choreography by Anthony Van Laast. In New York, the musical plays the Winter Garden Theatre, which is located at 1634 Broadway.
Meryl Streep won Academy Awards for her performances in "Sophie's Choice" and "Kramer vs. Kramer." She was also Oscar-nominated for her work in "Adaptation," "Music of the Heart," "One True Thing," "The Bridges of Madison County," "Postcards from the Edge," "A Cry in the Dark," "Ironweed," "Out of Africa," "Silkwood," "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and "The Deer Hunter." Streep received a Tony nomination for 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, and her other Broadway appearances include Happy End, The Cherry Orchard, Secret Service and Trelawny of the "Wells". Streep was most recently on the New York stage in the Public Theater's presentation of Mother Courage.