British actress Lily James will play the lead in the sequel to the hit 2008 movie Mamma Mia!

Lily James will star in the hotly anticipated sequel to musical film Mamma Mia!, according to reports.

The Downton Abbey and Cinderella actress is believed to be taking on the role of a younger Donna Sheridan, played by Meryl Streep in the first big-screen effort in 2008.

US movie news website The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news of the British actress’s casting, stating that she had signed on to appear in the Universal film.

The first film, based on the music of ABBA and the West End and Broadway stage productions of the same name, starred Streep alongside Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Stellan Skarsgard, Amanda Seyfreid and Dominic Cooper.

Streep, Brosnan, Firth and Seyfried are believed to be reprising their roles in the movie, which is being written and directed by British film-maker Ol Parker, who is known for writing The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again will feature songs by the Swedish band that were not used in the first film, which was set on the idyllic fictional Greek island of Kalokairi.

Mamma Mia!
The cast of Mamma Mia! in 2008 (Ian West/PA)

 

ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus will act as executive producers after previously enjoying cameo roles in the first film.

Lily, 28, is best known for starring as the plucky Lady Rose in period drama series Downton Abbey, and for playing the leading role in Disney’s 2015 live-action version of its classic, Cinderella.

She can currently be seen in cinemas in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, alongside Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.