I am glad to say that as of this writing, it appears that the plan to make a sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life has been nixed by Paramount, which holds the licensing to the movie.
But should the studio that wanted to make the sequel ever come up with enough money to sway Paramount (though I can’t imagine they would), let me say for the record: Don’t mess with a good thing.
Yes, Paramount, listen to me, the crazy Christmas lady.
Sure, some sequels are as good as – or even better than – the original. Godfather II, for instance, or The Empire Strikes Back. But for every one of those, there have been plenty more total flops that have tarnished the original’s reputation and watered down the whole story.
George Bailey doesn’t need watering down.
We don’t need to know that one of George’s kids died in Vietnam, or that Applebee’s pushed out Martini’s, or that CVS took away all of Mr. Gower’s business, or what happened to the dear old Building and Loan during the mortgage crisis – or whatever other ridiculous stories a sequel would purport to tell.
After all, we already know all that we need to from the original: that you could buy a week’s worth of after-school candy for about 5 cents; that school gyms used to be built over swimming pools; that you can have a perfectly wonderful around-the-world honeymoon in a ramshackle old house; that Bedford Falls was undoubtedly better for George Bailey having lived; that the town came to his rescue when he needed it just as he’d done for them; that Zuzu’s petals were always just where they were supposed to be; that Auld Lang Syne sounds best when sung by a group led by Donna Reed; and that Clarence – awesome Clarence – got his wings.
That’s right. I only want – I only need – the 1946 original, George, Mary, Uncle Billy, Zuzu, and Clarence, some popcorn and hot chocolate, and the twinkling lights of our Christmas tree reflecting off the TV while I watch and hum along to “And….dance by the light of the moon.”