Pete Davidson to star in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Pete Davidson to star in 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Pete Davidson is tackling Christmas canon: George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

In a casting move that’s sure to unhinge many a classic film purist, the tatted up “Saturday Night Live” star is set to take on the wholesome role made famous by screen icon Jimmy Stewart in Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday mainstay.

Davidson, 27, will be joined the by his “King of Staten Island” co-star Maude Apatow (“Euphoria”), the 22-year-old actress daughter of comedy filmmaker Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann.

Apatow is set to portray the character of Violet Bick, the role originated by Gloria Grahame, in Ed Asner’s one-night-only live virtual table read of the beloved script set to livestream at 5 p.m. PST and 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, Dec. 13.

The young duo headlines a veteran all-star cast featuring Mia Farrow, Ellie Kemper, Bill Pullman, Richard Kind, Carol Kane, Ed Begley Jr., Diedrich Bader, B.D. Wong, Michael Shannon “and special surprise guests.”

Pete Davidson to star in 'It's a Wonderful Life'
Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart in 1946’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Right: Pete Davidson.Everett Collection/Getty Images

Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Ed Asner Family Center, which is dedicated to promoting mental health and enrichment programs for special needs children and their families. Advance tickets are available for $50 to $250 at

“We are so thrilled to have Pete reenact the role of George in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ with his talented wit and clever vocalizations. And we look forward to having Maude join the cast as Violet with her creative flair,” said Matthew Asner, co-founder of the Ed Asner Family Center, in a statement. “Please join us for this once in a lifetime opportunity to snuggle up on your couch and experience this all-star cast virtual table read from the comfort of your own home . . . It will be a very meaningful night!”

Davidson, fresh off critical acclaim for “King of Staten Island,” will assume Stewart’s role of George Bailey, a man who gave up his own dreams to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve spurs the intervention of a guardian angel, Clarence Odbody.

Through a series of moving flashbacks and time jumps, Clarence exposes how George has touched the lives of others and how starkly different life would be for his wife Mary and his community if he had never been born.

Capra’s original film — based on the short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern — was a critical and box office disappointment upon its initial release. At one point, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI actually investigated it as possible “communist propaganda.”

However, it went on to be nominated for five Academy Awards and is now recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made. In 1990, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was designated as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.