Paramount nixes sequel to 'It's a Wonderful Life'

LOS ANGELES — 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 Bailey, a desperate family man who imagines during Christmastime what his town would be like if he’d never been born.

Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions announced plans Monday to create a sequel to the Frank Capra-directed film. Bob Farnsworth, president of Nashville, Tenn.-based Hummingbird Productions, told trade publication Variety that the sequel was set for release in 2015 and would star Karolyn Grimes, who played Bailey’s daughter in the original.

“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 film’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 held the rights for the past 14 years, after acquiring Republic Pictures. Paramount has since licensed “It’s a Wonderful Life” to NBC, which now airs it sparingly during the holiday season.


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