Who will star in the film?
Emilia Clarke – best known for playing a dragon-riding Daenerys in Game of Thrones, will star in Universal’s festive film as Kate.
Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding will also co-star alongside Clarke as Tom.
Emma Thompson will also star in the movie based on the classic festive tune, alongside Michelle Yeoh.
There will also be appearances from Ingrid Oliver, Rob Delaney, Peter Serafinowicz, Sue Perkins, Lydia Leonard and Rebecca Root.
The official plot reads: “A young woman named Kate, who has been continuously unlucky, accepts a job as a department store elf during the holidays. When Kate meets Tom on the job, her life takes a turn.”
Kimmings also revealed that she had been inspired by George Michael’s 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 said. “I don’t know how much of that remains!“
“George was such a massive advocate for gay rights – and a massive gay himself! – so I hope there’s a gay narrative in there.”
George Michael wrote the 1984 song ‘Last Christmas’ for his group Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley. The song and iconic video is centred around a story of unrequited love.
What music will feature in the movie?
Along with Wham!’s titular festive classic, the film will feature music from the late George Michael, including ‘Freedom’, as seen in the trailer.
The film will also premiere brand new unreleased material by the legendary artist, to be played during the film’s end credits.
The new unheard song by George has been revealed to be titled ‘This Is How (We Want You To Get High)’.
The full tracklist is:
- Last Christmas
- Too Funky
- Praying for Time
- Waiting for that Day
- Heal the Pain
- One More Try
- Everything She Wants
- Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
- Move On
- Freedom 90
- Praying for Time (reprise)
- This Is How (We Want You To Get High
GoT’s Emilia Clarke hits reinvention jackpot with Last Christmas
If Emilia Clarke was looking to reinvent herself after eight years as Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen, she’s hit the jackpot with her dysfunctional character in the rom-com Last Christmas. As Kate, the film’s wayward lead, the English actor spends her days dressed as an elf selling festive monstrosities (crocodiles with pom-poms anyone?) in London’s gaudiest Christmas shop.
Kate’s nights are devoted to getting wasted, her mornings trying to recall who she went to bed with. “It’s not my fault!” she wails as yet another self-inflicted blow sends her reeling.
Kate is a “great chance to play a character who is truly messy,” says 32-year-old Clarke during a break from filming Last Christmas at a studio complex on the outskirts of London. “She’s lost and confused – she can’t sit and be with her own thoughts for long, so she likes to make noise and fill her brain with alcohol, Tinder dates and getting things a bit wrong. That’s easier than showing her true self.”
Clarke can relate to “an alarming amount” of Kate’s travails, she says laughing. And like most actors she had plenty of uninspiring day jobs before finding success. “I never got too comfortable because I got fired too quickly,” she laughs. “When I had a data entry job, I treated the wheeled chair as a source of entertainment; when I was a cocktail waitress, I got the change wrong and lost them money. You just keep on dreaming your dreams.”
The opportunity to play an off-the-rails elf isn’t the only reason Clarke took the gig, one suspects. Last Christmas draws together a team of Hollywood heavyweights including the American director Paul Feig, whose comedies – Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy – demonstrate an ability to create extreme characters whose stories play out in the real world.
“London feels like the home of Christmas and I’ve always wanted to do a movie in London about London,” says Feig, a self-confessed Anglophile. “I jumped at it. We rushed the schedule so we could shoot the first three weeks in London using all the Christmas lights and decorations.”
“We set the film in 2016 which was important,” explains Feig. “It felt like the best way to comment on the wonderful diversity in London and put it up against this very intolerant thing that’s been going on with Brexit and Trump. We don’t wallow in it because we’re not a political movie by any means, but it’s the backdrop.”
Ultimately, Last Christmas is the perfect vehicle for Clarke to redefine herself in the wake of Game of Thrones. As Feig says, “the world will finally get to see how funny she is.”
He’s right. Kate’s misadventures as she struggles to find herself and Mr Right are by turns hilarious and deeply poignant. Thompson makes the point that if the film had been made while Michael was still alive, Clarke would not have been available due to her GOT commitments. “The fact is she is essential,” she says. “It [the role of Kate] hits her right in the centre – she’s just extraordinary.”
Last Christmas is in cinemas November 7.