Major retailers have already started their holiday sales and commercials, but really there’s nothing that can put people into the Christmas spirit quicker than the beloved 1946 Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. As if trying to give fans of that film an early Christmas present, Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions have announced that they’re working on a sequel to the movie, titled It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, as reported by Variety.
The film will focus on George Bailey’s grandson, also named George, a role that’s yet to be cast, with Karolyn Grimes, who played Bailey’s daughter Zuzu in the original movie, returning as an angel, no less, showing him how much better the world would be if he hadn’t been born. Ironically, it was the younger Grimes who uttered the movie’s most famous line: Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!
Although no decision has been made for the casting of the lead role as of yet, producers are having talks with other original cast members, Jimmy Hawkins and Carol Coombs, Tommy and Janie Bailey, respectively, to return for the sequel.
With a screenplay written by producer Bob Farnsworth along with Martha Bolton, the producers are currently look at potential directors with plans to film most of the movie in Louisiana with a budget of $25 to 30 million. They’re hoping to get the movie into theaters by the 2015 holiday season.
Grimes actually had a few words to say about the sequel, which will be released nearly 70 years after the original:
The new film will retain the feeling of the original, and it simply must be shared. Ive probably read close to 20 scripts over the years suggesting a sequel to Its a Wonderful Life, but none of them were any good. The script by Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton was wonderful, and I wanted to be involved with his version of the film immediately.”
With producer Bob Farnsworth adding, “The storyline of the new film retains the spirit of the original every life is important as long as you have friend.”
UPDATE: According to The Associated Press, Paramount Pictures owns the rights to the original film and hasn’t given permission for a sequel. “No project relating to ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ can proceed without a license from Paramount. To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights,” the studio said in a statement.