When It’s a Wonderful Life was released, it was considered a disappointment; it was the Pacific Rim of its day. Not a complete failure as some have reported, it was definitely not one of the big hits of 1946. But after some copyright issues made it a holiday favorite, its stock has risen, and now there’s a plan for a sequel to be released for the holidays in 2015.
This news comes from Variety, and the title of the sequel is plotted to be It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story. The big hook for this follow up — which would follow George Bailey’s grandson — is that it will feature one of the sole surviving cast members from the original. Karolyn Grimes, who played Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed’s daughter Zuzu in the film, would return to play an angel. We’re guessing they’ll be filming her scenes first.
And if this goes according to plan, the film would come sixty nine years after the original, making it the longest gap between sequels in cinema, besting the sixty four of previous record-holder Bambi II. And depending on when it’s released, it could be coming out against such 2015 holiday fare as Star Wars: Episode 7, Warcraft and Mission: Impossible 5.
There’s something sort of scrappy and underdog-ish about trying to make this sequel, even though it also feels a bit craven and silly. On one hand it would be going up against some of the biggest films of the year in a market that doesn’t make pictures like that any more (and never really did, as It’s a Wonderful Life is a weird and cruel movie at times, despite its reputation), on the other hand, who wants this? It speaks to the inherent problems with the franchise ethos of modern cinema. You can actually feel sorry for a small unnecessary sequel when it’s facing behemoth-sized unnecessary sequels.
Do you want to see The Rest of the Story?