When people have asked who the modern era’s equivalent of a James Stewart is, they often go with Tom Hanks — good-natured, folksy but with a quiet dark side that’s not explored often enough. But what if 2020’s Jimmy Stewart is actually Pete Davidson? We’ll find out when the SNL breakout and Clint Eastwood’s The Mule superfan assumes the lead role in a table read of the legendary actor’s Yuletide favorite It’s a Wonderful Life. Surely this is the least weird weird thing to happen in 2020.
As per Deadline, Davidson will assume the role of George Bailey, the bottomlessly decent yet relentlessly crapped-upon resident of Bedford Falls, New York, who learns that life is indeed wonderful — after he’s driven to contemplate suicide. Will it be surreal to see an aggressive tatted star with a deep nicotine-stained voice step in the shoes of America’s cuddliest classic movie star? Possibly!
The table read, like most pandemic-era table reads, will be for charity, this time for The Ed Asner Family Center, which, as per Deadline, is “dedicated to promoting mental health and enrichment programs to special needs children and their families.” Davidson will be joined by Maude Apatow, Euphoria actress and daughter of his King of Staten Island director Judd, as well as [deep breath] Mia Farrow, Ellie Kemper, Carol Kane, Ed Begley Jr., Diedrich Bader, Bill Pullman, Richard Kind, B.D. Wong, and Michael Shannon. It’s not yet known who will play what role, but please please please let Shannon take on evil Mr. Potter. Or is he a better fit for absentminded Uncle Billy?
The Davidson-starring It’s a Wonderful Life will take place on December 13. That means you can still indulge in the longtime annual tradition of watching the original 1946 film on Christmas Eve, noticing, as always, that it’s a far darker film than advertised — not a cuddly holiday entry so much as a portrait of how difficult and deflating it can be to be a good person in a cruel world. And since America’s own Mr. Potter — a cold-blooded greed monster who puts his name on all his cursed properties — looks like he’s finally about to get kicked to the curb, it’s fitting that this season we get to experience It’s a Wonderful Life not once but twice.