“It’s a Wonderful Life” to retain wonder at the expense of artistic freedom. Probably.

A couple of days ago some crazy people announced that they were going to make a sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life. And I said it was a terrible idea for basic cultural and artistic reasons.

Predictably enough, some folks object on entirely different grounds.

“No project relating to It’s A Wonderful Life can proceed without a license from Paramount,” the studio said in a statement. “To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights.”

Maybe it’s not out of copyright after all. Or maybe copyright law is just something that I, like would-be producer of the sequel Bob Farnsworth, don’t understand.

Or maybe he does, and the announcement was a stunt. It seems difficult to imagine that he really thought he could get away with it.

I wish Farnsworth and co. would make it, though. It’s a stupid idea that would almost certainly result in a terrible film, and I would still call them dumb for trying it, but if we stopped trying things because they sounded dumb then we’d never get anywhere.

Also, the film was made over sixty years ago. Aren’t we past the point at which it should be considered common cultural property?

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