BY BILLY SUTER
A NEW, previously unreleased song by the late George Michael is to be used in Last Christmas, a Universal Pictures romantic comedy which, starring and co-scripted by award-winning Emma Thompson, was inspired by the eponymous Wham! hit.
The movie, scheduled for release over the festive season, has a soundtrack featuring three Wham! tracks and 12 songs from Michael’s solo career. Director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Mad Men) describes the film as “a love letter to George”.
Michael’s new single is This Is How (We Want You To Get High), a previously unreleased song marking the pop star’s first new music to be shared since 2012.
Described as funky and upbeat classic, the song provides a perfect finale to Last Christmas, the soundtrack album of which is scheduled for release on November 8.
The film was co-scripted by Emma Thompson, who stars alongside Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians).
It tells of Kate, a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Her last date with disaster? That of having accepted to work as Santa’s elf for a department store. However, when she meets a guy called Tom there, her life takes a new turn.
Thompson visited Michael at his North London home in the spring of 2013 to talk through her ideas for the screenplay. He loved what she had to say and gave his blessing. The actress and screenwriter then developed various versions of the script before the pop star’s sudden passing on Christmas Day, 2016.
In the Spring of 2018, after discussions over which songs would be in the film,Thompson was given an exclusive preview of four new, finished and unreleased George Michael tracks. She instantly fell in love with This Is How (We Want You To Get High), remarking how the lyrics resonated with the film’s central themes.
The film will be released in the United States on November 8, the UK on November 15 and on assorted dates throughout the rest of the world until December 27.
George Michael gave the world some of the greatest ever pop songs, including Last Christmas, arguably the greatest Christmas record. Now, some 35 years on from that iconic hit, another festive treat has come for his millions of fans across the world.
This Is How (We Want You to Get High) was co-written and co-produced by Michael and collaborator James Jackman. It was released by Virgin EMI / UMG on November 6.
“The track has a seductive hook and melody that will delight his legion of loyal fans and electrify a whole new audience. The lyrics, written exclusively by George, see the star addressing society’s ills with his trademark blend of self-deprecation and wry humour,” says a spokesman.