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30 October 2019, 11:35
George Michael-inspired Last Christmas, due for cinematic release on November 15, will feature the late star’s music - but actress Emma Thompson has revealed George knew all about it.
Co-scripted by Emma, who also stars alongside Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding in the film, wanted to make a film inspired by George’s song ‘Last Christmas’ and even visited him in 2013 at his London home, where he gave her his blessing.
Emma said: “The wisdom and emotional scope of George’s lyrics have always amazed me.”
In a new interview, Emma appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to talk about working on the film’s screenplay and portraying character Adelia.
Emma explained: “This wonderful producer, David Livingstone, said, ‘Do you want to write a screenplay, a rom-com sort of thing, because we need a new Christmas movie based on ‘Last Christmas,’ and I said, ‘Not really, because it’s not my favourite Christmas song.’”
However, she went on to reveal her husband Greg Wise began devising the Last Christmas plot and found “an interesting, sideways way of telling a different kind of story about the human heart”.
Emma noted how she had sent a “good treatment” to Michael himself and later met up with the star to discuss getting the project off the ground.
The 60-year-old continued: “He was just the loveliest guy you could imagine. [He loved] all of these themes in the movie; he was passionate about homelessness, and he had this great social conscience.
“I got really enthused and we started to write, and then – of course – he had that tragic early death in 2016, on Christmas Day. So we lost him, and I miss him so much.
“I wish he was here because I know he’d love it, because the film’s like being hugged, and all of his music — we’ve got 15 of his songs, including a new one at the end — is so cool. ‘Heal the Pain,’ which is my favourite of his songs, it’s like it was written for the movie. He said that.”
The new festive rom-com is set to arrive in cinemas on November 15.