Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Nicole Kidman In, Cate Blanchett Out as Lucille Ball in “I Love Lucy” Movie Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin


Can we handle the truth? We may never know why Nicole Kidman is in and Cate Blanchett is out as Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s movie about “I Love Lucy.”

Deadline reports that Sorkin will direct Kidman and Javier Bardem as Lucy and Desi Arnaz as they shoot an episode of “I Love Lucy” in a film for Amazon Studios.

“Being the Ricardos” is set for a spring production.

The news is a little startling because Blanchett was all signed up for the project three years ago. Lucy’s actress daughter, Lucie Arnaz, was thrilled and gave her blessing. Just last year, in December 2019, Arnaz told “Good Morning America” how excited she was about Blanchett.

“The first person they mentioned they wanted to inquire about playing [my mother] said, ‘Oh my God. Yes.’ And that was Cate Blanchett,” she said.

“She totally gets where my mother was coming from, and she’s going to be magnificent in this,” Arnaz said of Blanchett.

This last minute change is strange, too, because both of these Oscar winning Australian actresses are represented by CAA, Creative Artists Agency, and are at top of the heap in getting roles they want.

Cate would have been great, Nicole will be great. The main thing is Sorkin has got to show Lucille Ball as a gifted comedian who was also a shrewd businesswoman in a tempestuous marriage.

Arnaz told “GMA” that after seeing this movie, she wanted audiences to say: ‘I understand Desi. I understand Lucy I understand why they fell in love. I understand why they couldn’t stay married. And I understand why that show worked the way it did.’

Now Sorkin and co. have to find Fred and Ethel Mertz, which could be the scene stealing roles. Michael Chiklis must be emailing Sorkin every ten minutes– he’d be a great Fred. For Ethel, I’d cast Marielle Heller in a heartbeat. But no one asked me!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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