Old School Americana & Nostalgia


James Stewart Biopic Set to Hit the Big Screen

James Stewart Biopic Set to Hit the Big Screen

If any life connected to Hollywood deserves a biopic treatment, then James Stewart lived one when he was alive. Recently, it’s been announced that Burns & Co. Productions are behind this project. Tentatively, the movie will be titled A Truly Wonderful Life. That is a riff off of Stewart’s involvement in the classic Frank Capra movie It’s A Wonderful Life.

Stewart was one of Hollywood’s biggest leading men during his career. Yet it’s his life away from Hollywood that also deserves attention. People who don’t know the full Stewart story will be stunned, impressed, and amazed.

“Our family is thrilled that Aaron and his team approached us about bringing Dad’s story to life on the big screen,” said Kelly Stewart-Harcourt, Jimmy’s daughter. “Everyone loved him as George Bailey. Now they can learn how that movie intertwined with other parts of his life in so many important ways.”

Daughter of James Stewart Involved in Biopic

Deadline reports that Stewart-Harcourt is an executive producer for this film. Yet its driving force is Aaron Burns, who is a director and producer at Burns & Co. He and his team have been working hard with Stewart-Harcourt to get the Stewart timeline correct.

“I am so honored Kelly and her family are trusting us with their father’s legacy,” Burns said. “We are excited to take moviegoers on a journey to discover the real Jimmy, and how his father’s prayers and his collaboration with Frank Capra guided him through his darkest hours. Jimmy came to truly embody the characters he played, as husband, father, and citizen.”

Stewart won an Academy Award in 1941 for his role in The Philadelphia Story, but he had other goals on his mind. Stewart soon enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he became a combat pilot. He advanced in rank to squadron commander, where Stewart played a vital role during combat missions over Germany. Stewart served in the U.S. Army between 1941 and 1947, then in the U.S. Air Force between 1947 and 1948. His highest rank in his military service was brigadier general.

As an aside, Stewart, an experienced pilot, finished his military service in 1966. He took part in a bombing mission over Vietnam, which lasted 12 hours, and 50 minutes.

But he was back in his world of movies upon his return home in 1948. Capra reached out to Stewart and asked him to be in the cast of It’s A Wonderful Life. When it was first released in movie theaters, the movie was not a smash box office hit. It’s A Wonderful Life, though, found new life when it started airing on television. Slowly but surely, its storyline of seeing George go through his trials and wanting to “live again” touched viewers’ hearts.

Stewart Offered Thoughts on Classic Movie

One time, Stewart happened to speak of the true elements of this movie. He said, “It’s simply about an ordinary man who discovers that living each ordinary day honorably, with faith in God and a selfless concern for others, can make for a truly wonderful life.”

Burns happens to be a producer and director who specializes in family films. Recently, Burns directed Birthright Outlaw, which stars Sarah Drew and Lucas Black, for Sony’s Affirm Originals. Burns will get help on the Stewart project from co-producers Sam Juergens and Justin Strawhand.

Other movies in Stewart’s screen history include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Shootist, Vertigo, Rear Window, Winchester ’73, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and many others. Jimmy Stewart lived until he was 89 years old when he died in 1997.