A spokesperson for Paramount Pictures tells EW.com that the studio would fight any effort to mount a sequel to Frank Capra’s treasured It’s a Wonderful Life, meaning it’s probably Christmas come early for film buffs who don’t want to see the memory of George Bailey tarnished just so a producer can make a quick buck.
In a statement, Paramount explained:
"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."
These "individuals" referred to in the memo are the creative folks at Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions, who recently told Variety of a plan to mount a sequel to the classic holiday film that would focus on the "unlikeable" grandson of George Bailey (played, of course, by the legendary Jimmy Stewart in Capra’s original film). The trade goes on to say that Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu in the first film, would come back as an angel who – get this – would show this grouchy grandson what his life would be like if he wasn’t around.
Uh, that sounds exactly like the original.
The original story points out that Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton have written a script for the sequel, but hopefully this latest update crushes any forward progress on a film that should never happen. Far too often has Hollywood made the mistake of trying to make sequels to extremely popular films many years after the originals charmed audiences (I’m looking at you, Beetlejuice 2) They fail far too often.
So are we safely able to breathe a sigh of relief and chalk this up as a dodged bullet? Will Paramount repeatedly deny and block any progress on a Wonderful Life sequel? If there’s a Movie God, the answer is yes. We don’t need a follow up. We don’t need a modern version of the Wonderful Life story. We have Bill Murray in Scrooged. It won’t get better than that.