This has been an incredible year for movies. Though the biggest box office slam dunks are still mostly to be found in the superhero game, 2018 has seen the resurgence of the romantic comedy at the box office, a genre all but left for dead last decade. Between streaming hits like To All the Boys I Loved Before to box office hits like Crazy Rich Asians, Hollywood has rediscovered unabashedly romantic happiness is still something audiences want to watch. The newest film that's been picked up is Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, which will be coming out — you guessed — next Christmas.
Emilia Clarke has just finished her work on the last season of Game of Thrones, the TV show that shot her to stardom in 2011. This will be her fourth attempt at moving to the big screen after action flops like Terminator: Genisys and mediocre results in films like Solo: A Star Wars Story and romantic tearjerker Me Before You. Henry Golding, meanwhile, is hot off of playing the romantic lead in Crazy Rich Asians and then starring as another romantic figure in Paul Feig's latest Gone Girl parody, A Simple Favor, as Blake Lively's husband.
The success of A Simple Favor probably helped him land the role in this film, which will also be helmed by Feig.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news:
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) are ready for a little holiday romance. The pair are set to star in Universal's Last Christmas. Paul Feig, whose latest film A Simple Favor opened in theaters on Sept. 14, will direct the project, which reunites him with Golding, who stars in A Simple Favor. The plot for the movie, with a screenplay by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings, has been kept mostly under wraps, other than it being a holiday romance set in London.
Note the screenplay comes from Emma Thompson. This project, which has been in development for several months before this announcement, is one of several screenplays by the actress, who has also spent time as a "script doctor" as well. Feig was attached to direct back at the beginning of the summer. No word if the film will reference the holiday classic Love Actually, but with so few details to go on and Emma Thompson's name attached to a romantic script set in London at Christmas, expect speculation to swirl.
As for the movie's title, one assumes it's referencing the Christmas classic tune by George Michael, which was released back when he was still with Wham! in the early 1980s. One can only hope the entire soundtrack is George Michael-centric as well.
Last Christmas is expected to arrive in theaters in December of 2019, though no set date has been given yet. If it comes out Christmas weekend, it will serve as counter-programming both to Star Wars: Episode IX, which premieres Dec. 20, 2019, and the family-oriented, star-studded Little Women, which arrives Christmas Day.