“It’s a Wonderful Life” is the greatest Christmas movie ever made. It may be the greatest movie of any genre ever produced. I will fight any who believes the contrary.
Alright, maybe I won’t. That may be taking things too far. But, when I heard that they are making a sequel to “It’s a Wonderful Life” that will be released nearly 70 years after the original, it did put me in a fighting mood.
I guess every time a bell rings, some idiot thinks that they can either remake a classic or add to its legacy. I happen to strongly disagree.
The sequel, titled “It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story,” is expected to focus on the grandson of George Bailey, who was played by the iconic Jimmy Stewart. My guess is that the news of this sequel has him rolling over in his grave questioning why. Frank Capra might be right there with him.
Either way, the movie will try to relive some of the original’s magic by casting some of the stars from the classic that came out in 1946. According to USA Today, Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter Zuzu in the original, will return for the sequel as an angel who shows Bailey’s unlikable grandson (also named George Bailey) how much better off the world would have been had he never been born. The producers have also begun discussions with original cast members who portrayed the Bailey family to reprise their roles in the sequel — Jimmy Hawkins, who played Tommy Bailey, and Carol Coombs, who played Janie Bailey.
“The new film will retain the feeling of the original, and it simply must be shared,” Grimes said. “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.”
What about the rest of the cast? Who could possibly play George Bailey? What about Mary? How can anyone even attempt to create the magic between Stewart and Donna Reed?
“The story line of the new film retains the spirit of the original – every life is important as long as you have friends,” producer Bob Farnsworth said. Farnsworth and Martha Bolton have written the screenplay. The question is, why?
I will admit that I don’t like change. I also don’t like when something ruins a classic. Out of curiosity and my absolute love for the original, I will be compelled to see the sequel. Unfortunately, I will already be going in with the lowest of expectations, as well as a slightly angry attitude that anyone would ever try to mess with such success.