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It's a Wonderful Life sequel in the making

It's a Wonderful Life The Rest of the Story sequel Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions have announced they are collaborating on the production of a sequel to the iconic Christmas feature It’s a Wonderful Life.

Entitled It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, the follow up to the iconic film is being financed by Allen J. Schwalb of Star Partners in Orlando.

Schwalb - who financed projects such as Thelma & Louise, Moonstruck and Rainman - is also exec producing together with Bob Farnsworth of Nashville-based production house Hummingbird. The latter also wrote the screenplay together with Martha Bolton.

The movie, which will shoot mainly in Louisiana, is aiming for a 2015 Christmas season release. The producers are currently in the process of interviewing potential directors to run the $25 to $35m project.

Frank Capra’s 1946 film starred Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed and was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture (but lost out to The Best Years of Our Lives).

Karolyn Grimes, the actress who played George Bailey’s (Stewart) daughter Zuzu in the original film and uttered the famous line “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings” is returning to the sequel. She will take on the role of an angel guiding the main character George Bailey (grandson of). The lead actor will not be announced until at least February when castings are set to take place.

Responding to critisism on Twitter that the sequel couldn't possibly be anything like the original, the producers said they will strive to "preserve the same positive family values and spirit of unconditional love and forgiveness as was presented in the original film".

“At this point in my life, to be associated with the sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life is a great honor,” said Schwalb. “This project allows us the opportunity to play a historical role in the next-generation of one of the greatest movies of all time. Our new film will continue the classic story of George Bailey and his family for an entirely new generation of moviegoers. I’m proud to be involved in moving this story forward.”

Schwalb and Star Partners discovered Farnsworth and this project at Film-Com, the annual financing and distribution market that takes place in Nashville each April.

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