Being The Ricardos: Everything We Know About Aaron Sorkin’s Upcoming I Love Lucy Film

In the annals of television history, I Love Lucy is one of the earliest and most important sitcoms. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had already been in the film and entertainment business for many years when they began their iconic series. The show ran on television from 1951 to 1957 and made audiences laugh at the outlandish situations between Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and Fred and Ethel Mertz.

A few years after the series ended, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball divorced in 1960, with Lucy soon buying out Desi’s share of the couple’s production company, Desilu Productions. In collaboration with Amazon and Escape Artists Productions, Aaron Sorkin will bring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s work and life struggles to the screen in Being the Ricardos

It Was Originally Titled “Lucy And Desi” With Cate Blanchett To Star

Variety reported in 2017 that Cate Blanchett was to play Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s forthcoming film. At the time, the project was called Lucy and Desi, and it had already been in the works for at least a couple of years.

There isn’t a consensus as to why Blanchett will no longer play Ball, but Blanchett has previously expressed a desire to focus on things other than acting. However, a full IMDb slate up to 2022 says otherwise.

Nicole Kidman Is Lucy & Javier Bardem Is Desi

Javier Bardem has been talked about for the role of Desi for quite some time, and Nicole Kidman will replace Cate Blanchett in the role of Lucille Ball. As of January 2021, contract negotiations were not finalized for the lead actors. Lucie Arnaz, however, stated that the casting is “a done deal” in a Facebook video shared by Entertainment Tonight.

Movie Setting Is A Recreation Of I Love Lucy Production

Viewers who are curious about the film’s setting might be glad to know that the timeline will be one week of production on I Love Lucy. This involves the nuts and bolts of completing a single episode of the legendary sitcom.

Deadline reported that in addition to seeing a weekly table read and show taping, viewers will also see Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz encounter personal and professional challenges together.

Nicole Kidman Is Ready To Play Lucille Ball

Variety shared Nicole Kidman’s feelings about the upcoming project. Kidman said, “With Aaron’s words and his direction and Javier … that’s kind of a wonderful prospect … But yikes, off we go. Give it a go. Try my best—see if I can do it.”

The seasoned actress has been preparing for the role by watching episodes of I Love Lucy. Kidman called Lucille Ball “an amazing woman” and expressed excitement for viewers to see Aaron’s research and rich interpretation of Desi and Lucy.

Potential Viewers Would Rather See Debra Messing Play Lucille

Some I Love Lucy fans took to social media to share their thoughts on Being the Ricardos’ casting. Nicole Kidman has not been a fan favorite for the film, thus far. A Twitter thread involved Debra Messing, whom fans imagined for the role due to her Lucy portrayal on an episode of Will & Grace.

Messing certainly looked the part when she imitated Lucy, and one Twitter user wrote, “Choosing to believe that @DebraMessing was unavailable or something.” Messing replied, “Oh no, I’m available.”

The Arnazes Are Involved
Lucille Ball, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. on “Here’s Lucy.”

Children of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. are the producers of Being the Ricardos. Their involvement gives the film a sense of family authorization and also might mean that scenes could be drawn from Love, Lucy as well as A Book, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s respective autobiographies.

Lucie Arnaz has been outspoken about the project due to fans’ casting complaints. In her Facebook video, shared by Entertainment Tonight, Arnaz emphasized that the project is not a recreation of I Love Lucy. It is “a slice of life” between Arnaz’s mother and father, “not a biopic from cradle to grave.”

Fred And Ethel Mertz Have Not Yet Been Cast

For all the pieces of the project that Lucie Arnaz is sure of, there is still no word on who will play Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertzes are the Ricardos’ neighbors and dearest friends on the series, and fans have laughed for decades at the antics between the two couples.

As the film will be more focused on the lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz than on the sitcom characters of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, there are some questions to be answered about the Mertzes. What scenes with Fred and Ethel might the production setting reproduce? Also, how much light will be shed on the actors who played them, William Frawley and Vivian Vance?

Production Has Not Yet Begun

As of early 2021, production on Being the Ricardos has not yet commenced. No reports on further development have been shared, and no one knows when filming will begin or when the film will be released.

The project has been in talks for so long that a few extra months of waiting may not seem like too much time in the long run. In any event, longtime fans and historians both of I Love Lucy and of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are eager to see the finished product.

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