I Love Lucy may have invented situation comedies as we know them back in the ’50s, but off-screen, there was certainly more drama between the show’s stars. In fact, there was enough turbulence between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz to inspire a 21st century filmmaker to rehash the spectacle of the midcentury American sitcom icons and their off-screen relationship by casting contemporary film stars in the role. So, it’s been reported by Deadline that Ball and Arnaz will likely be played by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem in a film helmed by Aaron Sorkin called Being the Ricardos.
Taking place during a week in which Ball and Arnaz participate in a table read for I Love Lucy, the movie will address the behind-the-scenes ups and downs of the rocky marriage between the television icons, as well as the fates of their respective careers.
In 2017, it was rumored that Cate Blanchett would take on the role of Lucy, but now it’s been reported that the spot is likely going to go to Kidman instead. Being the Ricardos will be produced by Amazon Studios and Escape Artists, but the official casting announcement has yet to be made, and there is no telling when they might be given the green light to actually start filming, given the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in California.
In any case, not everyone is excited about this news. Some have pointed out that a Cuban actor (or at least someone who is Latin American) should be cast as Arnaz (instead of an actor from Spain like Bardem). Raúl Esparza and Oscar Isaac are some names that have been tossed out there instead. As for Ball, Kidman isn’t exactly known for her comedic roles. And the obvious choice to cast iconic redhead Debra Messing was mentioned in the online chatter as well.
Apparently Messing, who gave her spin on Lucy in the final season of Will & Grace, once said that Ball was “untouchable” and that she would not try to play her in a biopic. However, she seems to have changed her mind. “I’m available,” she tweeted after the casting rumor circulated online.
Still, there is one question that not enough I Love Lucy fans seem to be asking: who will play Vivian Vance?