‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Sequel in the Works

Published 1 year ago by

its a wonderful life sequel Its a Wonderful Life Sequel in the Works

No, this article isn’t a hoax, nor a postponed April Fools’ Day prank along the lines of Screen Rant’s Full House sequel article (which ended up being picked up as legitimate news by some major online publications). The following may read as a brilliant satire of Hollywood – with its current obsession with sequel-izing, remaking and re-imagining seemingly every bankable property conceivable being well documented – but thus far, it appears to be a real thing.

Anyway, on that cheery note, let us proceed…

Variety is reporting that Star Partners and Hummingbird Prods. are developing a sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life, under the title It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story. The project is based on a screenplay written by Hummingbird’s Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton; possibly, the same M. Bolton who penned numerous Bob Hope specials throughout the 1980s and ’90s. Here is the site’s breakdown of the sequel’s plot:

Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter “Zuzu” in the original, will return for the “Wonderful Life” sequel as an angel who shows Bailey’s unlikeable grandson (also named George Bailey) how much better off the world would have been had he never been born.

It’s a Wonderful Life, of course, is the 1946 film that was co-written and directed by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart as George Bailey: a very compassionate and good-hearted man who reaches a point of frustration and despair (leading him to contemplate suicide), when an angel is sent to Earth in order to show George how meaningful his life truly is. Besides generally being regarded as a Christmas film classic by the masses, the American Film Institute lists It’s a Wonderful Life as one of the top 100 American movies ever made.

So… naturally… making a sequel 67 years later is a dicey proposition, to say the least.

its a wonderful life movie sequel 570x294 Its a Wonderful Life Sequel in the Works

Casting is currently underway for the It’s a Wonderful Life sequel, though original cast members Jimmy Hawkins (who is 72) and Carol Coombs (78) – who played the other Bailey children in Capra’s film, Tommy and Janie – are reportedly in talks to reprise their roles, along with Grimes (73). Interviews with potential directors are currently underway, with the plan to begin shooting in Louisiana on a $25-35 million budget by next year, in order to make a holiday season 2015 release date.

For her part, here is what Grimes has to say about the script:

“The new film will retain the feeling of the original, and it simply must be shared. 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.”

For the sake of playing devil’s advocate, could the latest script for an It’s a Wonderful Life followup be as good as Grimes indicated? Well, the track record for belated sequels doesn’t exactly bode in its favor, especially with such no-name talent involved behind the camera. Moreover, the premise reads as a rather more cynical retread on the storyline of the original film. Heck, even in A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge was shown to have been of some decent value and importance to the lives of others. (Who is George Bailey’s grandson anyway, a lifelong serial killer?)

Oh well, A Christmas Story 2 released straight to DVD last year, so maybe we were due for a second installment of It’s a Wonderful Life to go along with it. Best case scenario, the latter defies all expectations and becomes another meaningful examination of spirituality (centered around the winter holidays) in its own right. Worse cast scenario… everyone just pretends that it doesn’t exist.


We’ll keep you posted on the status of It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story as the story develops.

Source: Variety

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  1. Do we seriously need a sequel to this?

  2. I’m going to have to circle back around to this article once I find something positive to say about this idea.

    • Thanks,same here !

  3. Wait what?

    “how much better off the world would have been had he never been born”

    So the angel is going to show the grandson the world is a better place if he had NOT been born? How is that in keeping with the spirit of the original movie? 😮 So what, the grandson is coerced into killing himself Butterfly Effect alternative ending style?

  4. This may be blasphemous to some but I didn’t see the movie until a few years ago and honestly didn’t think much of it. It was decent but not memorable.

    Sequel? Should this even be a thing? It’ll be like the sequel to The Snowman that was nothing but a complete letdown after the classic original from the 80s.

    • Actually the critics back in the day agree with you as the movie didn’t get great reviews. If I remember my history right, the movie didn’t become mainstream popular until quite a few years later as a tv movie that gets run every year around Xmas.

      • That’s true of several classics, including another Jimmy Stewart film, Vertigo. It seems the critics are about as spot on as meteorologists; though, who’s to say what people will like from year to year?

    • I agree. The original is tedious to sit through. This will be one of those straight to the Hallmark channel movies. I’ll take “A Christmas Story”, any day.

  5. If it’s done in an homesome way like Pleasantville.I’LL give it an shot.

    • Pleasantville, love that movie!
      One of the few Paul Walker movies I can tolerate.

  6. Good idea, guys. Just look at how A Christmas Story’s sequel turned out.

    • yeah, that was a shot in the dark. how about no… for this.. no..

  7. A sequel to WHAT? That movie had a beginning, middle and END with no lingering strings to explore.

    Hollywood needs to stop leeching off of known classics and shoe-horning sequels where they do not belong.

    • I’d tend to agree. For all it’s likability to many people, a sequel probably is not needed to this old Christmas standard. I like Christmas turkey as much as the next guy, but you don’t need to whip it out yet again long after the holiday is passed like long-dead leftovers!

  8. With all the libraries and books in the world they are going back to this story with intentions to make a sequel? All I can say is wow. Nobody cares about sequels unless it has something to do with Star Wars. Come on Hollywood get a grip we don’t need anymore sequels / prequels we need original stories or do what they did with Oblivion borrowing things that worked in other stories and making it your own. George Lucas has learned this concept very well and look how he turned out.

  9. ‘Who’s that old guy’
    ‘Hi, Im Pierce Hawthorne’
    ‘OH COME ON!’

  10. You silly stupid old fools!!!

    Do you realize what this means?!

    It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison!!

    Prolly not the prison part though.

    • I love that part. I literally fall to pieces every time I watch that film for various reasons.

  11. My wife will be thrilled. Let’s hope it is i the spirit of the original one (of course, as the article says, a dicey proposition since years in the life of the characters have gone by, and many calender pages have indeed been turned). “Every time a movie cash register rings, a director and producer get their wings!”. I myself am anxious for the developmentally-stalled National Lampoon Christmas Vacation sequel….!

    • They already made one. Its a TV movie spinoff called Cousiin Eddies Island Adventure or something….lol.
      First one is the go to Christmas movie for us every year. Hilarious!

  12. So the real question remains, will it be dark and gritty ?

    • Yes.

  13. My mother told me “if you can’t say something, don’t say anything at all”, so…

  14. I can’t believe there are people who say the original is tedious to sit through. That’s literally because you aren’t a literate enough film-goer or a patient enough one. This movie was and always will be a classic, easily earning its spot in the top 100. It has the heart that all you cynics clearly don’t have. People hate what is truly great in this world and for what reason, I do not know.

    I was a child when I saw this movie and if I could have the patience to sit through it, obtain the strong and powerful message and enjoy it, I find it hard to believe some ignorant adult couldn’t do the same. To all the haters….grow up…or rather yet, feel young again for a change and stop trying to tear down the last vestiges of the good that’s left in the world. This movie is one of the those tiny good things that means a lot to many people, it really doesn’t need a sequel.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I still like It’s a Wonderful, but it can be awful tedious to sit through. Also, explaining that you sat through it as a child and didn’t find it tedious is comparing apples and oranges. As a child I had the patience to sit through BOTH Mortal Kombat movies and ENJOY them. I don’t think I could even last 10 minutes now.

    • It’s pure magic. Not tedious at all… But to the kids of today? I guess I understand. I feel old sometimes :_(

  15. There was a Beavis and Butthead Chistmas special I saw once. In the episode an angel tried to get Butthead to kill himself by showing him how much better off the world would have been if he had never been born. That was the first thing I thought of when I read this premise.

    • Haha you just read my mind!

    • I think you could justify a remake. I love this film so much, it makes me cry like a school-girl with a grazed knee. The ending is unbelievable, probably the most emotionally powerful 5 minutes in cinema history… In my eyes anyway.


  17. This is sacrilege.

  18. “. 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.”

    Ugh. This is a terrible idea. Also, that quote makes it sound how the script they picled up was bad, but not as bad as the other 20+ they read.

  19. Hollywood must REALLY be running out of Ideas. Not only is this like a “Why?? and Now??” type question But if this DOES happen it’ll be some kind of record for longest break between sequels.

  20. I would actually think it would be George Bailey’s great grandson at this point , unless the thing takes place in the 80’s. But yeah, its a lame idea. I’d rather they just remake it , but even that’s not the best idea imo.

  21. I could’ve understood a remake or respin, (which to me was called ‘click’) but a sequel? Tread lightly hollywood. Tread. Lightly.

  22. Who ever came up with this idea should be fired. Not to be mean, but this shows a complete disconnect with the movie going public.

    I mean ask yourself: How many people have you ever met who have vaguely suggested (much less outright said) “We need a sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life”?

    No one.

    • AND forget remakes. Remember that “Miracle on 34th Street” remake?

      Me neither.

  23. They’ve been making somewhat copies for years already. Mostly on sitcoms but this isn’t new. Maybe if they did a version like Bill Murrys Scoodged….that would at least but a comedic spin on it

  24. Kill it. Kill it with fire.

  25. My favorite all time take on this was The Simpsons. When the Jimmy Stewert like character tried to explain to Moe and others that they couldn’t get their cash from the bank because it was in places like Joe’s house. So Moe and the mob started beating Joe and demand he turned over the money. I was brought to tears on that one