When Ol Parker handed in the script for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, he assumed “it would be someone far more elevated than me hired to direct a dancing sequence on 14 boats.” The screenwriter behind the two Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films had directed two features before, including 2005s indie hit Imagine Me & You, but had been hired for the lavish musical sequel solely as a writer. Two or three months into writing, though, producer Judy Craymer asked Parker if he wanted the job. As Parker put it, “Im guessing Rob Marshall and Jason Moore had already said no.”

But even though Parker didnt initially think he was the guy to helm lavish sequences like the “Dancing Queen” number or Chers rendition of “Fernando,” he turned in an effervescent and unlikely sequel, one that Richard Lawson—who interviewed Parker on this weeks Little Gold Men podcast—called “uncomplicated joy in complicated, despairing times.”

In addition to the interview with Parker, this weeks Little Gold Men includes an in-depth look at the many, many trailers for high-profile films that have dropped in recent weeks, from the Timothée Chalamet vehicle Beautiful Boy to the wild-looking The Favourite to the other “boy” movie with Oscar hopes, the Lucas Hedges–led Boy Erased. Katey Rich and K. Austin Collins join the conversation to speculate on whether period pieces about women can make an Oscar comeback, whether Steve Carell can ever truly leave Michael Scott behind, and if Margot Robbies wig removal in Mary Queen of Scots will be the years most important cinematic moment.

Take a listen to this weeks Little Gold Men above, and find the show on Apple Podcasts, where you can also leave a rating and a review.

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