'It's a Wonderful Life' sequel: Paramount promises a fight

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Image Credit: Mary Evans/Everett Collection

Paramount won’t be giving any wings to a planned It’s a Wonderful Life sequel.

A studio spokeswoman said Wednesday that Paramount would fight the proposed follow-up to the 1946 holiday classic starring Jimmy Stewart as George Baily, a desperate family man who imagines what his town would be like if he’d never been born. Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions announced plans Monday to create a sequel titled It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story.

Bob Farnsworth, president of Nashville, Tenn.-based Hummingbird Productions, told trade publication Variety that the film was set for release in 2015 and would star Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter in the original film.

“No project relating to It’s a Wonderful Life can proceed without a license from Paramount,” the studio said in a statement. “To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights.”

Farnsworth and Star Partners president Allen J. Schwalb did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Farnsworth previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the property’s rights were in the public domain.

While a lapsed copyright led TV stations in the 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s to repeatedly broadcast It’s a Wonderful Life, Paramount has controlled the rights for the past 14 years, after the studio acquired Republic Pictures as part of its acquisition of Spelling Entertainment in 1999. Paramount has since licensed It’s a Wonderful Life to NBC, which airs it sparingly during the holiday season.


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