Nov. 19, 2013
“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.
Although original stars Donna Reed (“Mary Bailey”), Jimmy Stewart (“George Bailey”), Lionel Barrymore (“Henry Potter”), Thomas Mitchell (“Uncle Billy”) and Henry Travers (“Clarence”) won’t be able to return for the sequel, Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s (Jimmy Stewart) daughter Zuzu played Zuzu, will appear as an angel.
“It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story” is being planned for a 2015 release in theaters, and will have a direct connection to the original with the inclusion of Grimes. She 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. What’s the plot device this time? 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.
Hmmm… some sequels, such as The Godfather II and Rocky II were very good, there are perhaps even more sequels that were not such good ideas. (Caddyshack II comes to mind.) Then there are some movies – some classics, some not necessarily so – that do not cry out for reprises. The original was – and still is – charming, and warm, and had fine performances by the stars and the supporting players alike. (Beulah Bondi is just one prime example.) I don’t see how any amount of Hollywood “good intent” could possibly do justice to the original. I hope the sequel turns out to be a good effort, but all I can muster up is a very healthy dose of skepticism over the whole effort. It will be impossible not to judge it, or measure it. against the original