The festive movie is set to get a sequel...60 years later.
Treasured 1940s Christmas movie It's A Wonderful Life apparently has a sequel in the works, set to be released nearly 60 years after the original 1946 film. Described as "one of the most beloved films ever made" by our own Christopher Null, the movie has earned its place as one of the most cherished festive films that spans generations.
With this is mind, it's easy to see why the news that there is a sequel in the works has sparked such mixed reactions, with many condemning any attempts to revive or replicate the original charm.
In the original, James Stewart plays a businessman named George Bailey who is compassionate but despairing and plans to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. Clarence, Bailey's guardian angel, intervenes to save George's life and show him what life would be like had he never existed.
The actor who played 4 year-old Tommy Bailey in the movie, Jimmy Hawkins, told TMZ that the movie's sequel will be successful in the hands of the right producers but is in danger of falling apart under the wrong script or director.
The 72 year-old also revealed that the original director, Frank Capra, tried pitching an It's A Wonderful Life sequel for years after the first movie but the studios felt that such a move would be sacrilegious. Read our review of the 1946 classic, It's A Wonderful Life.
Hawkins also confirmed that he was currently in talks to revive his 'Tommy' role but wants to tread carefully in case it's a case of "stunt casting." This means that instead of a remake of the 1946 classic, the new movie is likely to be a revisit to the characters in the next generation.
George Clooney for It's A Wonderful Life 2!
Indeed, Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions have already started work on It's A Wonderful Life: The Rest Of The Story, according to Den of Geek. The film will apparently focus on the grandson of George Bailey, who is also called George. Karolyn Grimes, who appeared in the original as Bailey's young daughter will be an angel this time, suggesting a similar plot to the first.
Not to worry though, assures Grimes: "the new film will retain the feeling of the original, and it simply must be shared." No casting announcement has been made but we're going to go ahead and suggest George Clooney for the role of George Bailey's grandson. Why not?
Twitter reactions have been largely negative from those who hold the original movie dear, ranging from a common "Noooo!" to suggestions of a petition or a boycott. Perhaps the film provokes such strong reactions because it is evocative of a time when shops didn't start advertising Christmas in September and the festive season was a more a time for togetherness rather than commercialism. All of which could be tainted if the sequel is crass.
Importantly, Jimmy Hawkins gave his blessing to the sequel, saying "I wish them all the luck in the world."
It's A Wonderful Life: The Rest Of The Story is scheduled for release in late 2015.
Revisit This Famous Clip From The Movie: