EXCLUSIVE: Dominic Cooper Dishes on Returning for 'Mamma Mia 2': It's 'a Phone Call I've Been Waiting For'
By Zach Seemayer
Photo: Getty Images
It's been nine years since the film adaptation of Mamma Mia!rocked audiences around the world, and finally fans will get a chance to see what all their favorite characters have been up to in the recently-confirmed sequel, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
Among the many stars who've recently signed on to reprise their roles is Dominic Cooper, who says he's very excited to be involved in the long-awaited sequel.
"It’s kind of a phone call I've been waiting for for 10 years, so it was odd to finally get it," Cooper told ET on Tuesday during a press junket for his acclaimed AMC series Preacher. "I mean, I was always surprised that it hadn't come sooner."
The musical rom-com -- which was adapted from a Broadway show of the same name, based on the songs of the beloved Swedish pop group ABBA -- was a smash hit when it hit theaters.
The film earned $144 million domestically and $610 million worldwide based off a $52 million budget. Its massive financial success essentially guaranteed that the film would get a sequel, but most people didn't expect the follow-up to take a decade to come together.
According to Cooper, there's actually a very good reason for the long delay. "They've finally come up with a story that they think is excellent enough to reignite the joy that the original was," the 39-year-old star explained.
"Rather than it being forced and coming two years after the great success of the last one and just pushing out a storyline, that's not what this has been," he continued. "This was finally someone [thinking], 'I've got it! I've got the key to this. I know how this can be good.'"
"And for that reason, it makes me very excited to be a part of it," Cooper added.
The actor will be joining a slew of big-name stars who are returning to the fun franchise, including Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan. The sequel is slated to hit theaters on July 20, 2018.
The fun, lighthearted musical romp is a far cry from Cooper's current role in Preacher, a haunting, surreal fantasy/horror/action comic book adaptation that pushes the envelope in terms of dark storytelling and visceral violence, especially on television.
Given his proficiency when it comes to on-screen hand-to-hand combat -- and his acclaimed starring role as Ian Fleming, the author and creator of James Bond, in the 2014 British miniseries Fleming -- Cooper said he's frequently approached by fans who would love to see him assume the mantle of 007 -- a possibility the star says he's "definitely, always" interested in.
Cooper said that growing up as a boy who was "into cars and gadgets," it’s a role he's always thought about, and that the idea of James Bond has had a big impact in his life.
"I think we all, without really realizing it, are kind of influenced by that idea [of being James Bond]," he shared. "Hopefully not the original Fleming idea of who he was, because by all accounts he wasn't particularly pleasant, but there's always a new way in which to interpret that man, and a new way in which to play him."
Cooper suggested that one reason the long-running franchise has been such a success has been producers' willingness to be "brave in the way in which they recreate him."
There have been 24 official James Bond films with six different stars portraying the iconic super spy -- starting with Sean Connery in 1962's Dr. No, followed by George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and, most recently, Daniel Craig.
"I think there are more ways in which he could be played, and I'd only love to do it if I thought that I could bring something else to that role that hasn't yet been achieved," Cooper shared. "It would be very difficult, but an absolute honor to step into the shoes."
The star admitted that Craig would be "a hard one to follow, because he's done such a great job recently." However, it's been reported that Craig, who has played Bond four times in the last 11 years, won't be returning to the franchise, meaning producers could soon be on the hunt for a new man to wear the tux.
And when it comes to fighting and action, Cooper said he's ready for whatever they could come up with. "I'm well up for doing the physical stuff, because I've found that to be really good fun this season [on Preacher]."
Season 2 of Preacherpremieres Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.