Cate Blanchett is going to play Lucille Ball in a feature film written for the screen by Aaron Sorkin. (Maybe with help from Paul Rudnick.) Jeff Sneider broke the story and everyone’s picked it up. No director has been named yet.
In the past, Lucy’s been portrayed on TV beautifully by Frances Fisher. A lot of people thought Debra Messing would get the job one day– including Lucy’s daughter Lucie Arnaz, who wanted her. Australian two time Oscar winner Blanchett can do anything, so this should be good– she will really get the pre-“I Love Lucy” Lucy who was a wise cracking ingenue in movies before becoming the First Lady of TV.
But who should play Ricky, Ethel, and Fred — Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley? Not to mention Mrs. Trumbull?
I always thought Andy Garcia should play Desi, but he may be too old now. (Andy is actually 59. Time flies! He looks like he’s 35.) Whoever plays Desi had better be a damn good singer and musician. Bruno Mars is too young and too short. And the actor should really be Latino.
As for Fred and Ethel– Melissa McCarthy and Zack Galifinakis come to mind. Don’t take either Vance or Frawley for granted. They were geniuses.
Lucie Arnaz and her brother Desi Arnaz Jr. are producing, and they will be characters, too. As for Mrs. Trumbull, Caroline Appleby, and Betty Ramsey– I hope we see the minor players too. “I Love Lucy” is the template for all TV comedy right up through now. Those five writers– Bob Carroll Jr., Madelyn Davis, Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf– really deserve some special group award.