George Michael was involved in the early stages of Emma Thompson’s new film Last Christmas

The film is based on the Wham! song and came from an idea conceived by Thompson, her husband and the late singer, screenwriter Bryony Kimmings tells RadioTimes.com

(Getty)

Emma Thompson’s upcoming film Last Christmas was inspired by the festive song of the same name by George Michael, who also collaborated on the concept for the movie prior to his death in 2016.

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In an interview with RadioTimes.com, Thompson’s co-writer Bryony Kimmings, who penned the first draft of the screenplay in January, said the film was “based on the song, Last Christmas” and that the idea for the project came from Thompson, Michael and Thompson’s husband Greg Wise.

“When I came on board, George was up for it, he’d already signed something to say yes, but he’d passed away,” Kimmings explained, “and Greg and Emma were still very keen to write it.”

Greg Wise and Emma Thompson (Getty Images)
Greg Wise and Emma Thompson (Getty Images)

Bridesmaid’s Paul Feig is set to direct the film, which has previously been teased as a holiday romance set in London and was recently acquired by Universal Pictures. Oscar-winner Thompson, who according to Kimmings wrote the second and final draft of the screenplay, will co-produce alongside David Livingstone, with casting yet to be announced.

Kimmings, who is also a performance artist, said she included a “trans lead” in her original draft, and that she had been inspired by Michael’s advocacy work for gay rights while writing the script.

“[When] I wrote my draft, I tried to slip in some trans people and make sure there was queer politics in there,” Kimmings told RadioTimes.com. “I don’t know how much of that remains!”

Bryony Kimmings (Courtesy of Channel 4)
Bryony Kimmings (Courtesy of Channel 4)

“I doubt there’ll be a trans lead,” added Kimmings, who hasn’t yet seen the final version of the screenplay. “But I hope that there’s quite an element of queer in there, because you know it’s the story – it’s based on the song, Last Christmas.

“George was such a massive advocate for gay rights – and a massive gay himself! – so I hope there’s a gay narrative in there.”

Michael wrote, produced and recorded the hit 1984 song Last Christmas as one half of pop duo Wham!. The song follows a tale of unrequited love and has become a staple of the festive season.

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Bryony Kimmings fronts Channel 4 documentary Sex Clinic: Artist in Residence on Sunday 22nd July at 10pm