The film giants hold the rights to the original festive classic
It was announced this week that, after more than 60 years since its original release, a sequel to the beloved Christmas film It's A Wonderful Life was in the works. This looked to be the case, until Paramount stepped in and said that they will do whatever is in their powers to prevent a follow-up to the 1946 film from happening.
The 1946 classic is loved by generations
Paramount own the full rights to the classic festive tale and on Wednesday, 20 November, the studio released a statement saying that they have no intentions of selling the rights to the film, adding that no sequel can be made without permission from them. According to Entertainment Weekly, the studio said in their statement that no one has enquired into purchasing the rights to the film, adding that they would probably get turned down it they tried.
The statement read, "No project relating to It’s a Wonderful Life can proceed without a license from Paramount. To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights.”
Their statement was in response to the announcement made by Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions this Monday, when the studios announced plans to create a sequel titled It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, supposedly due in cinemas by 2015. No details into what the story would entail were released, however the sequel would follow on from the same storyline found in the original, in which James Stewart's George Baily imagines what life would be like had he never been born with the help of his guardian angel.
Previously, Hummingbird Productions president Bob Farnsworth had insisted that the 1946 film's rights were in the public domain, meaning they didn't need permission from Paramount to make a sequel. However, Paramount have controlled the rights to the film for the past 14 years, winning them following the acquisition of Spelling Entertainment in 1999.