‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Is Getting A Modern Inclusive Remake

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‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Is Getting A Modern Inclusive Remake‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Is Getting A Modern Inclusive Remake

Film writer Kenya Barris confirmed he was working with Paramount on an It’s a Wonderful Life remake at the Sundance Film Festival. “I feel like Christmas movies are amazing, and I think the idea of taking something that has that long of a history and a tale behind it and putting an amazing piece of talent to tell that story,” Barris told Variety.

Kenya intends to make the reboot more inclusive and acknowledging of the POC community as he did with the 2023 Disney+ remake of White Men Can’t Jump and ABC’s Black-ish. By casting a POC lead, Kenya insists it is “the perfect story to tell for a person of color— black or brown.”

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ remake will feature inclusive stories

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IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, James Stewart, Donna Reed, H.B. Warner, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, 1946

The original film, directed by Frank Capra, tells the story of a guy named George Bailey who’s down on his luck after things start to go wrong for him. Guardian angel Clarence visits George on Christmas Eve while he contemplates suicide. “Our communities have some issues, and someone is trying to help that community out. I think that’s the perfect vehicle to tell that story from,” Kenya explained.

Kenya is also working on another classic, The Wizard of Oz, adding a modern touch to the musical fantasy film. He also moved the setting from Kansas to an apartment complex in Inglewood, California. “I want people to be proud and happy about where they’re from,” he said, resounding his goal across the board. “But I want the world to take a look at it, and I hope that will come through.”

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IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Donna Reed, James Stewart, 1946

Looking back on the original

In 1990, the United States Library of Congress described It’s a Wonderful Life as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant,” it earned a spot in the National Film Registry. It was inspired by Philip Van Doren Stern’s The Greatest Gift, and despite its popularity among viewers, it was not without fault.

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IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Larry Simms, Jimmy Hawkins, James Stewart, Donna Reed, Karolyn Grimes, 1946

Critics have previously called out the stereotypical use of the black character Annie as the Baileys’ family maid in It’s A Wonderful Life. “Although It’s a Wonderful Life was in many ways a deeply progressive, compassionate, and anti-capitalist piece of work, it was not immune to the pervasive racial biases of the time,” journalist Louis Chilton noted in The Independent.

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