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How long is too long between an original film and a sequel? A few years? Ten? How about nearly 70? Star Partners and Hummingbird Prods. are hoping that’s the magic number for a sequel to Frank Capra’s 1946 classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life. Variety reports the project is targeted for a Dec. 2015 release.
The original film found Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey taking a tour of a world he was never born into with an angel named Clarence (Henry Travers) after George attempted to kill himself on Christmas Eve. Clarence shows George that the world is a much better place with him in it.
It seems like the sequel, called It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, goes a slightly different route as it focuses on Bailey’s grandson, also named George, who is something of a heel. This time around, the angel is one of old George’s children, Zuzu played by original actress Karolyn Grimes. She shows current George that the world would actually be a much better place had he not been born.
“The new film will retain the feeling of the original, and it simply must be shared,” Grimes said. “I’ve probably read close to 20 scripts over the years suggesting a sequel to ‘It’s 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.”
The new George probably won’t be cast until production goes into full swing next February, but producers are reportedly in talks with Jimmy Hawkins and Carol Coombs who played Tommy Bailey and Janie Bailey in the original. No director has signed on at this point.