Pierce Brosnan will play the male lead opposite Meryl Streep in "Mamma Mia!," the film adaptation of the hit musical for Universal and producing partners Playtone and Littlestar.
Pic begins shooting June 25 in London and Greece.
Brosnan sang a few Irish standards in the indie drama "Evelyn," and sang onstage early in his career. But this will be a decided departure for an actor best known for playing the steely James Bond. Brosnan will play Sam, one of three men summoned to a Greek isle by a young woman who believes one of them is her father.
For Brosnan, the opportunity to belt out such ABBA standards as "S.O.S.," which will be a duet with Streep, was irresistible.
"I said yes right away because it meant working with Meryl Streep," Brosnan told Daily Variety
. "Secondly, I saw the show with my family in London, and found it just so wonderfully happy and joyful, and so pitched in time forever in the 1970s. What a kick in the pants, to be able to go off and spend time with Meryl on some Greek island, singing ABBA songs."
"Mamma Mia!" is being produced by Littlestar's Judy Craymer and Playtone's Gary Goetzman and Tom Hanks. Rita Wilson will exec produce with Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, latter of whom wrote the tunes when they were the creative catalysts for ABBA.
"Pierce brings a certain smooch factor and we think he'll have great chemistry with Meryl in a romantic comedy," said Craymer. "He is just the perfect choice."
Phyllida Lloyd, who directed "Mamma Mia!" in its London and Broadway runs, is helming the picture, which was scripted by Catherine Johnson. She wrote the book for the stage musical, which recently surpassed $2 billion in ticket sales in over 140 cities since opening in 1999.
Brosnan takes the job while preparing a sequel to "The Thomas Crown Affair," which John Rogers scripted and which Brosnan is producing under his Irish DreamTime banner. A director will be set shortly and production will begin before year's end.
Brosnan recently completed "Butterfly on a Wheel," a co-production between Irish DreamTime and Icon that will be distributed by Lionsgate, and he also recently shot "Married Life," a Sidney Kimmel Entertainment pic that will be released by MGM.