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Paramount Threatens Legal Action Over 'It's a Wonderful Life' Sequel Plan

It's a Wonderful Life - H 2011
"It's a Wonderful Life"

While Star Partners has announced a new movie built around George Bailey's grandson, the studio still has the rights to the property, and "would take all appropriate steps" to protect them.

No, another angel won't be getting his wings any time soon.

A proposed It's a Wonderful Life sequel in the works has not been given the go-ahead by Paramount, which owns the rights to Frank Capra's 1946 holiday classic. The studio says it will take "appropriate steps" to protect its rights.

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"No project relating to It’s A Wonderful Life can proceed without a license from Paramount," a studio spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter. "To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights."

On Monday, Florida-based Star Partners, a film financing entity, and Nashville-based Hummingbird Prods., which is one of the biggest producers of music for commercials, announced they were teaming up for the sequel.

The producers had lined up Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey's daughter Zuzu in the original film, to reprise her role. It would center on Bailey's grandson, who is far from perfect. The film would see Bailey's grandson visited by Zuzu, who is now an angel.

Hummingbird’s Bob Farnsworth told THR Monday that the rights to It's a Wonderful Life were in the public domain, and that he had written a screenplay with Martha Bolton, a former staff writer on Bob Hope's specials.

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"It’s a Wonderful Life is about showing a good guy can win. And with Scrooge, you have a person that is not a good guy but he changes," Farnsworth told THR. "This story is about the amazing human capacity to forgive when we see someone change for the better."

The producers told THR they were eyeing a holiday season 2015 release date and a budget in the $25 to $32 million range.

Borys Kit and Chris Krewson contributed to this report.