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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Abba stage show 'to become film'
Mamma Mia is based on the hits of Swedish group Abba
Stage show Mamma Mia, based on the music of Abba, is being made into a film, according to reports.

Actor Tom Hanks is to produce the film along with Abba songwriters Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, says Hollywood newspaper Daily Variety.

The film could be released at the end of the year to coincide with the musical's 10 years on the London stage.

The show features many of Abba's hits from the 1970s and 80s, including The Winner Takes It All and Dancing Queen.

The musical has been shown all over the world and has grossed more than $1.6bn (897m).

Better-known names

Judy Craymer, who devised the musical based on Abba's hits, is going to be involved with the film.

When she initially approached Ulvaeus with the idea in 1987 he turned it down, but eventually the first production premiered in 1999.

While the musical has not featured star names, the film could attract better-known names.

"We've never had stars in the show, the music has always been the star, but we are certainly thinking about names as we take this from the stage to the screen," said Craymer.

A scene from Mamma Mia
Mamma Mia has been seen by an estimated 24m people worldwide

Hanks' production company Playtone will be involved in the project, while talks to secure financial backing and a distribution deal are taking place with Universal.

Meanwhile, some of the songs of Abba are being made available to download onto mobile phones as ring tones for the first time.

Hits including Gimme Gimme Gimme, SOS and Ring Ring were selected by the group's songwriters Ulvaeus and Andersson.

The "realtones" are excerpts of the original recording rather than a synthesised copy.

The Abba ringtones, published by Universal Music, will be available on a number of mobile networks including T-Mobile, Orange and Vodafone.

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