Conceived by actress Emma Thompson and the late singer George Michael, Last Christmas is an upcoming festive rom-com written by Thompson and starring Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke and Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding, who play a pair of star-crossed lovers.
Here’s everything you need to know about Last Christmas.
Who is in the cast of Last Christmas?
Emilia Clarke — best known for playing a dragon-riding Khaleesi in Game of Thrones — plays the film’s female lead Kate, while Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding will co-star as love interest Tom. Joining the duo are Oscar-winner Emma Thompson, who co-wrote the film’s script, in the role of Adelia.
Michelle Yeah, who played Golding’s onscreen mother in Crazy Rich Asians, also stars, as do Rebecca Root (Boy Meets Girl), who plays Dr. Addis, Patti Lapone (Pose, Penny Dreadful) and Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who).
What’s Last Christmas about?
In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, Emma Thompson’s co-writer Bryony Kimmings, who penned the first draft of the screenplay, said the film was “based on the song, Last Christmas” by George Michael, which deals with themes of unrequited and lost love. The idea for the project came from Thompson, George 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 said, “and Greg and Emma were still very keen to write it.”
Kimmings was inspired by Michael’s gay rights advocacy while writing the first version of the script. “[When] I wrote my draft, I tried to slip in some trans people and make sure there was queer politics in there,” she told RadioTimes.com. “I don’t know how much of that remains!”
The film will also reportedly include unreleased George Michael music, according to The Guardian.
“[George Michael] was putting together his new album when he passed,” director Paul Feig told BBC News. “And one of our tracks is one of those songs, and it’s just an absolutely amazing song that I’m so excited the world is going to get to hear now.
“It’s a very celebratory song, I would dare say. And we were able to play the entire song, which is almost six minutes long, in the film.”
The film, though, is “not a musical”, though Michael’s music “affects the story”, with characters “interacting with” his songs… whatever that means.
In Last Christmas, Emilia Clarke’s character works as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop but, as Clarke told Entertainment Weekly, her character’s “general mood and persona doesn’t add up to the cheery outfit [she’s] in”.
“It’s very Christmassy,” Clarke added.
“We dialled it [the Christmas factor] up to eleven,” Golding agreed.
Feig, meanwhile, has described the film as a “dramatic romantic comedy”, saying the flm is “very funny” but “there’s just a lot more to it”, including “some emotional themes… about family and about immigrants and about homelessness, and people trying to repair their lives and going through catastrophic illnesses.” (via Empire)