The late George Michael will have several unreleased songs featured in the upcoming romantic comedy, Last Christmas, per a report by Rolling Stone. The film, inspired by the Wham! holiday classic, features a script co-written by Emma Thompson. It will be directed by Paul Feig and is scheduled for release in November of 2019. Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones fame and Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding are set to play the film’s romantic leads.
The film centers on a young woman (Clarke) who works as an elf in a year-round London Christmas shop and spends most of her time avoiding intimacy and making a bundle of bad decisions. When a man (Golding) comes into her life and begins to break down her barriers, the city becomes transformed into a winter wonderland.
Michael was helping to develop the script for the film when he died on Christmas Day in 2016, according to The Guardian, giving the film and its music a bittersweet edge.
It is uncertain what unreleased Michael music will be included in the film, though it will definitely include the 1984 Wham! song by the same name. Michael was famously inspired to write the song in a fit of creativity while visiting his parents on a Sunday afternoon, then performed the vocals and played every instrument on the track. The song features an upbeat rhythm track juxtaposed against plaintive vocals, which perhaps may reflect the tenor of the film. “Last Christmas” reached No. 2 on the British singles chart in 1985.
Feig recently enjoyed success with the release of A Simple Favor, starring Golding alongside Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. The film was a departure from Feig’s typical style, but received favorable reviews from critics and audiences alike. Feig is admired for his ability to direct screwball comedies like Bridesmaids and The Heat, but A Simple Favor showed that he was equally adept dark humor as well. In addition to directing Last Christmas, Feig will produce the film as well.
Emma Thompson is no stranger to Christmastime British romantic comedies, as she was one of the stars of the holiday staple, Love, Actually. Thompson co-wrote the screenplay with multi-platform performance artist Bryony Kimmings. Last Christmas will be the first screenplay credit for Kimmings.
This film will present a bit of a departure for Emilia Clarke, who is best known for her roles in action films such as Solo: A Star Wars Story and Terminator: Genysis, along with her star making role as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. She has tried her hand at romance with a starring role in Me Before You. Also, it should be noted that she once appeared on the animated TV comedy Futurama, in an episode titled “Stench and Stenchibility.”
Emma Thompson, who is a producer on the film in addition to co-writing the screenplay, also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.