Paramount May Stop ‘It’s a Wonderful Life 2′ From Ever Existing
Two days ago, it was announced that the revered holiday classic 'It's a Wonderful Life' was up to get a sequel called 'It's a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story.' But today, Paramount, who owns the rights to the original film and the short story on which the film was based, have said that it can't happen without their involvement and they're willing to get litigious over it.
Variety talked with the studio who said “No project relating to ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ can proceed without a license from Paramount. To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights.”
Perhaps the people pursuing the sequel thought the film remained in some sort of public domain limbo, which is partly how the film achieved its status as a holiday classic (read: it was cheap for stations to play it during the holidays). It sounds like they're not even on the same footing as the people who tried to make 'Raging Bull 2' (they had to change their title to 'The Bronx Bull.') Paramount owns the title, period. And if the project is as good as the new producers say it is, then they've got two options: pay a hefty licensing fee, or give Paramount a chunk of the profits, or sell the property to the studio outright. Considering the nature of this sequel, we're guessing that this could be the last we ever hear of it.