Karolyn Gimes, pictured as a young girl with Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart, will return to the "It's a Wonderful Life" sequel as an angel.
"It's a Wonderful Life," the classic Frank Capra film from 1946 that has become a holiday season staple, will get a sequel almost 70 years after its initial release, Variety reports.
"It's a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story" is being planned for a 2015 release, and will have a direct connection to the original: Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey's (Jimmy Stewart) daughter Zuzu will return for the sequel.
Grimes is set to play an angel who teaches Bailey's grandson (also called George) the same lesson an angel taught his grandfather — what the world would have been like if he were never born. The twist? While Grandpa George was the town's savior, and his little town went to seed without his contribution, grandson George is not a likable person and the world would have been better off without him.
"The storyline of the new film retains the spirit of the original — every life is important as long as you have friends," says producer Bob Farnsworth, who co-wrote the screenplay with Martha Bolton.
Producers are also in discussions with other original cast members, including Jimmy Hawkins, who played Tommy Bailey and Carol Coombs, who played Janie Bailey. They would reprise their roles.
The project has been around for some time; a video of Farnsworth explaining why he wanted to make the film, and his general concept, was posted on YouTube in 2010.
"The new film will retain the feeling of the original, and it simply must be shared," said Grimes. "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."
There may be legal issues remaining with the project, however. The film's rights have a long, difficult history as the New York Post's chief film critic Lou Lumenick tweeted Monday:
And not everyone is on board with the idea. Vadim Rizov of The Dissolve noted that Bolton's resume is largely comprised of Bob Hope comedy specials, while Farnsworth's company Hummingbird Productions is best known for ad jingles — not movies.
First published November 19 2013, 7:00 AM