When it comes to discussing modern movies which have gone on to become festive classics, few can match the tears and laughter of Richard Curtis’s Love Actually. British star Emma Thompson famously played a key role in that movie and now she will be hoping that her latest project can repeat that success and become a winter warmer which people turn to for years to come.
She has joined with her husband Greg Wise to create the story of Last Christmas, a new festive-themed romantic comedy based on the music of the late, great George Michael. Thompson stars in the movie alongside some more A-list talent, including Game of Thrones’ actress Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and Michelle Yeoh.
However, there is more to the movie than just top talent in front of the camera, as the man in charge of bringing the whole project to the screen has enjoyed major success, both in TV and in Hollywood over the past couple of decades.
Paul Feig may not necessarily be a household name across the globe just yet, but he is well-known by many for his work on a range of acclaimed projects through the years. He hails from Mount Clemens in Michigan and arguably first came to the public’s attention for his acting roles in the 1990s, including a turn as biology teacher Eugene Pool in a number of episodes of Sabrina The Teenage Witch.
However, it was writing and directing that really took him to a whole new level in the entertainment world, with one of his first high-profile creations being the comedy series Freaks and Geeks. While the show he launched with Judd Apatow lasted just one season, it was notable for being the career launchpad for a range of famous faces including Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jason Segel.
Following his work on the show, Feig went on to be involved in a range of series that have ultimately gone on to be regarded as classics in their own right. He was heavily involved in both the US version of The Office and the cult classic Arrested Development, while he also directed episodes of much-loved shows including the brilliant Parks and Recreation, Mad Men, and 30 Rock.
Considering his impressive CV when it comes work on the small screen, it makes total sense that Feig would eventually make the leap into the movie world. However, while his movie directing career began with I Am David in 2003, his real breakthrough moment on the big screen undoubtedly came with the massive success of the 2011 romantic-comedy Bridesmaids.
The movie, starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Chris O’Dowd, was both a huge critical and commercial smash, and in many ways remains a pop culture phenomenon. As well as making stars out of the leads, it has proven to be a valuable property to Universal Pictures, with the studio even agreeing to the creation of a Bridesmaids-inspired online slot. The online slots title utilises the movie’s popular aesthetic, as well as a range of Bridesmaids-inspired images and quirky motifs.
After scoring a huge hit with Bridesmaids, Feig went on to continue his working relationship with Melissa McCarthy through movies including The Heat and Spy. Furthermore, he also enjoyed success with the all-female Ghostbusters reboot and the well-received A Simple Favor, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.
High hopes for the holiday hit
Paul Feig has undoubtedly enjoyed a stellar career behind the camera so far and he has racked up some truly impressive credits, both through the course of his movie and television work.
Further projects are in the pipeline too, as he recently suggested that he could be moving away from comedy to create a monster movie for Universal. According to reports, the project is currently thought to be known as Dark Army and it will be intriguing to see what he comes up with.
However, for the time being, the focus is on Last Christmas and hopes will be high that the movie will go some way towards replicating the success that Feig enjoyed with Bridesmaids eight years ago. With its vibrant holiday spirit, it may well have what it takes to capture the imaginations of audiences across the globe.