Monday, July 22, 2024

Lucy and Ricky Find Their Fred and Ethel as J.K. Simmons, Nina Arianda Join “Being the Ricardos”


Aaron Sorkin has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do. And he’s going to do it soon.

Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardo’s” has found its Fred and Ethel Mertz. They are J.K. Simmons and Nina Arianda. He’s an Oscar winner, she’s a Tony winner. I have to say, they sound perfect.

Simmons and Arianda will play actors William Frawley and Vivian Vance, the famed second bananas to Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as they shoot an episode of “I Love Lucy” over the course of a week. Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem will play the Ricardos.

This is either going to work or not, big time. But I have high hopes for it. Now Sorkin has three Oscar winners. If this goes right, Nina Arianda will finally be in the big leagues and have her own Oscar. She’s enormously talented. I can’t wait to see if they’re casting Little Ricky, Mrs. Trumbull, and Lucy’s mother.

Escape Artists will produce the film for Amazon Studios, with Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch as producers and Jenna Block and David Bloomfield as executive producers. Ball and Arnaz’s children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., will also serve as executive producers with Stuart Besser and Lauren Lohman.

When does it shoot? Whenever we’re all vaccinated. In the meantime, Baba-loo!

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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