Let me start with an apology. I’m about to get a cheesy ‘80s tune stuck in your head. But it’s worthwhile for this bizarre news item out of Hollywood.
It turns out that famed actress, writer, and all-around delight Emma Thompson is penning a script for a feature film based on…the song “Last Christmas” by the English pop duo Wham!
The Details so Far
Universal has already purchased the script co-written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson. (Thompson won an Oscar for her Sense & Sensibility screenplay, making her the only person in history to win the coveted golden statue for both writing and acting!) Paul Feig is attached to direct.
Given his work on Bridesmaids, we might be in for another R-rated comedy! The story is set in London at Christmas, but that’s all we know for sure right now.
A Pop Music Legend
“Last Christmas” is one of the most popular holiday tunes ever. George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, the blokes behind Wham!, released the song in 1984,. It lingered at #2 on the charts for 5 weeks. “Last Christmas remains the 24th best-selling single in the UK—and given how often it pops up on the radio or movie soundtracks, that’s not surprising.
Along with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” it’s become a modern-day Christmas carol. But can it sustain an entire film?
Nothing Says “Merry Christmas” Like Heartbreak
It’s a familiar tale—a man gives his heart to his beloved, only for her to betray him. In this case, the singer of “Last Christmas” has his heart given away the day after Christmas, and has vowed to find someone worthwhile this year.
Okay, it’s a little thin for a film plot. But they made a hugely successful movie franchise based on the Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride, so who knows?
George’s Seal of Approval
According to cowriter Kimmings, the project was in the works before George Michael’s untimely death in 2016. In an interview, Kimmings said, “When I came on board, George was up for it, he’d already signed something to say yes, but he’d passed away and Greg [Wise, Thompson’s husband] and Emma were still very keen to write it.”
A Holiday Classic in the Making?
Emma Thompson is no stranger to wildly popular Christmas movies. She plays a role in the ensemble film Love Actually, appearing as both the Prime Minister’s sister and the wife of a philandering husband. And based on Paul Feig’s track record for hilarious, female-driven comedies, it’s possible that this will end up being a new Christmas comedy classic along the lines of Elf or Scrooged.
We can only wait and hope that when it comes time to unwrap this movie, we won’t need a gift receipt.