The follow-up, entitled It's a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, follows the unlikeable grandson of James Stewart's George Bailey. Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey's daughter Zuzu in the original, will play an angel who shows the grandson, also named George Bailey, how life would be better if he had never been born. Karolyn Grimes delivered the famous line "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings" in It's a Wonderful Life, which followed George Bailey's near-suicide attempt on Christmas Eve, before his guardian angel intervened.
Hummingbird's Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton wrote the screenplay, with Farnsworth also producing alongside Star Partners' Allen J. Schwalb. The producers are hoping to get the sequel in theaters by Christmas 2015. Here's what Bob Farnsworth had to say about the story.
"The storyline of the new film retains the spirit of the original - every life is important as long as you have friends."
The producers haven't decided who to cast for the grandson role, although they have started discussions with original cast members Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy Bailey) and Carol Coombs (Janie Bailey) to reprise their roles.
Here's what Karolyn Grimes had to say about the project in a statement.
"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."
The producers are interviewing directors and hope to shoot in Louisiana next year, with a budget between $25 and $35 million.