Paramount to fight It’s A Wonderful Life sequel

Well, thank god for that. Paramount Pictures have responded to this week’s most distressing news – that an indie studio is planning to make a sequel to Frank Capra’s classic It’s A Wonderful Life – by quietly pointing out that not only does it disapprove of the idea, but it’s also got a shotgun loaded with intellectual property law resting by its easy chair.

Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions, who believe they are legally in the clear with their plans to make It’s A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story (we didn’t report their original announcement because we were hoping that an angel would come and show us a world where it didn’t bloody exist), have responded amicably and said they hope to be able to resolve the issue without recourse to the courts. However, Paramount insists that since its 1998 acquisition of Spelling Entertainment, which owned Republic Pictures, which owned the rights to The Greatest Gift, the story on which the film was based (pause for a breath here), they have an unassailable claim to the sequel rights.

Hummingbird’s Bob Farnsworth, producer of the putative sequel, had this to say: “We have spent a lot of time, money and research that leads us to believe that we are clear on any infractions of the copyright. If anyone feels that have a legal claim, we will be happy to talk with them. I believe that whatever resolution needs to be made will be made amicably, in the positive spirit of the project.” We have this to say to Bob Farnsworth and his compatriots: sod off and come up with an original idea, you festering gits.

Karolyn Grimes, who played the daughter of Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey in the 1946 original, has agreed to return for the sequel, in which she will play an angel who stages an intervention into the life of Bailey’s grandson (also called George Bailey, because why change a winning formula?). Let’s hope she never gets the chance.

Seriously, though, this is an awful idea. Just awful.

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