I don't have a whole lot of energy to be appalled or even very surprised at this news: It's A Wonderful Life (one of my favorite movies ever) is getting a sequel, titled It's A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story. This is presumably, as Matt Patches said on Twitter, "For those who hated the original's cliffhanger," because really, don't we know the rest of the story here? I've never felt like the end of that film is terribly ambiguous, unless we're talking about whether or not Annie finally gets herself a husband.
Well, here's what else we've missed, evidently:
Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter “Zuzu” in the original, will return for the “Wonderful Life” sequel as an angel who shows Bailey’s unlikeable grandson (also named George Bailey) how much better off the world would have been had he never been born.
Screenwriter Bob Farnsworth (along with Martha Bolton, who has maybe written a million Bob Hope specials?) says, "The storyline of the new film retains the spirit of the original – every life is important as long as you have friends,” and although an angel showing George Bailey how much better the world would be without him seems like the literal opposite of the spirit of the original, I guess I'll buy it. Zuzu seems to think it's a good idea, after all, and if the original film's most irritating character (and I'm including Sam Wainwright in that) is on board, played by an actress who hasn't had a single acting credit since 1952, who am I to argue?
I'm not mad. I promise. Mostly I just feel a little tired and nonplussed at the news. I guess I'm also surprised it's taken this long for a sequel to happen, but don't worry, Zuzu has an explanation for that:
“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. The script by Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton was wonderful, and I wanted to be involved with his version of the film immediately.”