Impetus behind 'Wonderful Life' sequel hopes film advances
The co-producer of a planned sequel to the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” says he would like to cast someone from Indiana in the movie.
Bob Farnsworth, who owns and operates a musical commercial production company in Nashville, Tenn., said he’s the one who came up with the concept for “It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story” and has been working with a screenwriter on the script.
Farnsworth said he would like to add a local connection to the production.
“Would it not be a beautiful thing if somehow “The Rest of the Story” pulled in Indiana?” he said. “How cool would it be if we could find a worthy part in the film for a very talented person from Jimmy Stewart’s hometown? I would love that.”
Farnsworth said he is a longtime fan of the movie.
“I’m no one special,” he said, “just another person whose life has been changed by Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart.”
News of the plans for the sequel, which broke earlier this week, was met with mixed reaction, especially on social media.
Paramount Pictures, which owns the film rights, contested whether Farnsworth’s Hummingbird Productions and co-producer Star Partners can legally proceed with the project.
Farnsworth said he has consulted with a law firm that had determined he was free to move ahead without copyright infractions.
The movie, he said, has been in the works for 14 years. Production costs are estimated to be in the $30 million range. Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu, the young daughter of Jimmy Stewart’s iconic character George Bailey, will reprise her role.
It tells the tale of another George Bailey — the grandson of Jimmy Stewart’s iconic character — who is not at first as likable as his namesake.
As in the original, an angel in training (in this case, the young George Bailey’s Aunt Zuzu) shows him what life would be like had he never been born.
There’s a twist, however. Without this George Bailey, the lives of those around him would have been better.
But that’s not the end of the story, Farnsworth said.
“In the original film, the big theme for me was that the good guy can really win,” Farnsworth said. “In ‘The Rest of the Story,’ the theme is that you can make mistakes, be forgiven and still win.”
The movie will also tie up loose ends, he said, and answer questions that he always had about what happened to the bridges George Bailey wanted to build, and characters Zuzu and the villain Mr. Potter.
From the sounds of it, Farnsworth is hoping others would like to know, too.
“This is my dream,” he said of the film. “That it would be a Christmas gift, not a Christmas controversy.”