Variety reports that the follow-up will be titled "It's A Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story," and focus on the grandson of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), also named George Bailey. But unlike the 1946 flick, in which a guardian angel showed a suicidal Bailey the positive impact he had on others' lives, the present-day Bailey, described as "unlikeable," will instead be shown "how much better off the world would have been had he never been born."
While that sounds pretty bleak for an allegedly feel-good family film, those involved with the sequel say the movie will closely mirror its predecessor.
"The storyline of the new film retains the spirit of the original -- every life is important as long as you have friends," said co-writer Bob Farnsworth.
Several original cast members are being lined up for a return, including Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey's youngest daughter, Zuzu, and spouted one of the movie's most famous lines: "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings." Grimes will play the guardian angel this time around. Also being courted to reprise their roles as Zuzu'z siblings are Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy Bailey) and Carol Coombs (Janie Bailey).
Other casting decisions are pending, as is the search for a director. Producers are aiming to have the sequel ready for a holiday 2015 release.