"Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. But the very next day, you gave it away."
You hear that lyric, and it immediately calls to mind the classic Christmas song by George Michael. But Universal Studios hopes that in a few weeks, that lyric also will remind audiences about the winning holiday rom-com LAST CHRISTMAS, starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Emma Thompson. The latter actually wrote the screenplay for LAST CHRISTMAS and handed it to her good friend Paul Feig (BRIDESMAIDS, A SIMPLE FAVOR), who has turned it into an unconventional Christmas comedy with big lessons and an emotional twist.
But the movie would be nothing without the music of the late pop sensation George Michael, who was a huge inspiration on the entire production, according to Feig.
"I was always kind of a casual fan of George’s," Feig told AMC at a recent press day. "Because I knew him from the MTV days when he was winning the awards and putting out these hit songs. But it was knowing that Emma Thompson knew George and had met with him and told him about the film, and had pitched it to him, and he read a treatment and he loved it and loved the idea of it, and wanted to be involved with the music — it just felt that his DNA was within this story."
This year has been dominated by movie’s driven by the soundtracks of beloved artists. The Beatles were the backbone for Danny Boyle’s YESTERDAY, while Bruce Springsteen’s catalog was the genesis for BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. Sir Elton John, meanwhile, saw his life brought to the big screen in the musical biopic ROCKETMAN.
Paul Feig’s LAST CHRISTMAS, as it turns out, has more inspiration from George Michael than just its title track.
"Then, as I started doing a deeper dive into his other work and deeper tracks from his albums, I discovered this whole world of songs that worked so perfectly with the movie, even beyond what we originally thought we had," Feig explained to AMC. "I wanted people to experience what I experienced by exploring and discovering him so deeply. I want a new generation to have that experience, too."
*Experience LAST CHRISTMAS and the inspiration that George Michael has on the holiday romance when it opens in AMC theatres on November 8. *