Emilia Clarke can’t be Daenerys Targaryen forever. In fact, the actress has been taking steps to ensure she’ll have a long, fruitful, non-dragon-related life well after Game of Thrones ends next year.
Her big blockbusters — Terminator: Genisys, Solo: A Star Wars Story — keep underperforming. But you know what don’t underperform? Emilia Clarke romance films, like the Love Story-ish hit Me Before You. And here she’s signed up for another: Paul Feig’s Last Christmas.
As The Hollywood Reporter reported Wednesday, Clarke will team with Henry Golding, the suddenly ubiquitous star of Crazy Rich Asians and Feig’s new secretly funny thriller A Simple Favor. Nothing is known about the plot except that it’s a holiday romance set in London, meaning it will probably have that dry-but-quietly-sappy English Richard Curtis-y Love Actually vibe. It also nicks a title from Wham!’s deathless holiday song, perhaps as a nod to both the late George Michael and an era when half of mainstream films were named after pop songs. That doesn’t happen much anymore, does it? Bring that back!
Oh, and just one more thing: The screenplay is by Emma Thompson. The actress — about to be seen in the British legal drama The Children Act — is also an Oscar-winning screenwriter. She won for adapting Sense and Sensibility, which kickstarted the late ’90s wave of Jane Austen and Jane Austen-like costume drama-comedies. Thompson followed that up by writing two Nanny McPhee movies, and had a hand in the threequel Bridget Jones’s Baby.
Thompson is a well-known wit, Clarke has already proved herself as endearing in a non-fantasy lead, and Golding is equal parts handsome and charming. Add the strong possibility that Crazy Rich Asians just exhumed the rom-com and this seems a no-brainer — even though, since it was just announced, it probably won’t hit screens until the 2019 holiday season.
By then, fresh Emmy winner Game of Thrones will be over, and Clarke can begin her second act in peace.