Fox's 'A Christmas Story' Casts Its Ralphie

Andy Walken, 11, landed the role after more than 350 applicants were considered for the part originally played by Peter Billingsley in the holiday classic.
Tommy Garcia/FOX; Courtesy of Photofest
Andy Walken (left); Peter Billingsley in the original 'A Christmas Story'

Following an extensive casting search, Fox has found its Ralphie for its upcoming live production of A Christmas Story.

Andy Walken, 11, of Seattle, has nabbed the lead role in the network's Dec. 17 production. He landed the part after more than 350 applicants were considered to take over the role originally played by Peter Billingsley in the 1983 classic. (Watch a scene with Billingsley, below.)

For those who never saw the original — which marathons every Christmas on TBS and TNT — the movie is set in the 1940s, when all 9-year-old Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun. The film follows Ralphie and his family's various holiday-themed adventures, which include a terrible trip to visit a department store Santa, his younger brother's disgusting eating habits and his dad's infatuation with an obnoxious lamp made to look like a woman's leg. Fox's production is based on the movie and the subsequent 2012 Broadway musical.

Walken joins Maya Rudolph as Ralphie's mother and Matthew Broderick as the narrator in the three-hour live production.

The endeavor is being produced by Warner Horizon Television. Marc Platt, who executive produced Fox's critical and commercial success Grease Live in 2016, will serve in the same capacity on A Christmas Story. He is joined by fellow exec producer Adam Siegel (the Broadway revival of The King and I), with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary (Grease Live) serving as co-exec producers and writers. Oscar- and Tony-winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen wrote the original music for A Christmas Story: The Musical and will compose several songs for the event.

Watch a video of Walken finding out he got the part, below.