Nicole Kidman is in talks to play TV legend Lucille Ball in Aaron Sorkin’s long-talked-about biopic.
The red-haired beauty, 53, and Javier Bardem, 51, are the latest names to potentially fill the roles of the I Love Lucy legend and her bandleader husband, Desi Arnaz, according to a report by Variety.
The upcoming film, titled Being the Ricardos, will look back at the personal and working relationship of the 1950s sitcom stars. It will be set around a production week on the set of the couple’s iconic sitcom, starting with a Monday table read and up through an audience shoot on Friday. In the film, Ball and Arnaz will face personal and professional crises as their marriage unravels during the rocky work week.
Once deals close with Kidman and Bardem, production for the buzzy biopic will remain in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project has been on the radar for years and was originally set to star Cate Blanchett, with Ball and Arnaz’s children Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz serving as co-executive producers, according to The Wrap. In the past, Ball has been portrayed by Frances Fisher, Gillian Anderson, and Sarah Drew in various projects.
In the 1991 TV movie Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, Fisher played the comedy queen with soap opera veteran Maurice Benard (General Hospital) cast as her Cuban bandleader husband.
Fans know that the celebrity couple was married from 1940 to 1960 and had a stormy marriage that ended as they filmed The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. Two years after their divorce, Ball bought out her ex-husband’s ownership stake in Desilu Productions, making her the first woman to run a major Hollywood studio. Ball married Gary Morton the following year.
While they were unable to make their marriage work, the exes had a “great” divorce, their daughter Lucie once said.
“The best thing that ever happened to them was getting divorced,” Lucie told Closer Weekly. “They had a very successful divorce. It was fantastic. If their parents can’t get along and that happens, then kids should be so lucky to have a divorce like my mom and my dad did, because they were kind, they never said bad words about each other in front of their children and they stayed friends til the day they died. It was a fantastic romance that even got more passionate and more friendly after they were not married to each other anymore.”
Ball went on to star without her dashing ex on the sitcoms The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and the short-lived Life With Lucy before her death in 1989. Arnaz died three years earlier.