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Donna Reed, Jimmy Stewart and Karolyn Grimes in "It's a Wonderful Life"
Frank Capra's beloved holiday classic "It's a Wonderful Life" is getting a sequel, almost 70 years after the original debuted in theaters.
According to Variety the 1946 black-and-white movie starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed will get a follow-up story due to hit cinemas in time for the 2015 holiday season.
Karolyn Grimes, who portrayed George Bailey’s daughter “Zuzu” in the original, will return for the sequel currently going by the title, “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story.” Grimes will play an angel who shows Bailey’s grandson how much better off the world would have been had he never been born.
The original movie centered around troubled family man Bailey (Stewart) who experiences an intervention from his guardian angel when he comtemplates suicide on Christmas Eve.
No casting decision has been made for the lead role of Bailey’s grandson, though producers tell Variety they have begun discussions with original cast members Jimmy Hawkins, who portrayed Tommy Bailey, and Carol Coombs,who played Janie Bailey, to reprise their roles.
Fans of the Christmas-time staple will remember Grimes delivering the iconic line, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!”
“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," Grimes told Variety. "The script by Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton was wonderful, and I wanted to be involved with his version of the film immediately.”
“The storyline of the new film retains the spirit of the original – every life is important as long as you have friends,” sequel producer Bob Farnsworth said.
"It's a Wonderful Life" was nominated for five Academy Awards including best picture, and remains a must-watch holiday special for many families each year.