Way back in 2017, Amazon picked up the distribution rights to a Lucille Ball biopic directed by Aaron Sorkin and starring Cate Blanchett—who, at that point, had already been attached to the project for years. At some point, though, Blanchett allowed the project to pass her by like so many chocolates on a conveyer belt, and now Nicole Kidman has signed on to star in the film—now dubbed Being The Ricardos—alongside Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz. The premise for the movie is that it will follow Ball and Arnaz during one tumultuous week of I Love Lucy production, from a table read on Monday to filming in front of an audience on Friday, all while the two stars “face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.” So, yes, it will absolutely be the most on-brand thing Aaron Sorkin could possibly do with a Lucille Ball biopic.
With that all established, it’s kind of hard to deny that this casting seems a little weird. Both Kidman and Bardem are older than Ball and Arnaz were when I Love Lucy was on, and Bardem in particular doesn’t seem like he carries the same sort of energy that Arnaz had in the I Love Lucy era. Or maybe he’s just been sitting on this secret well of spryness for the majority of his career? We’ll have to wait and see, but Deadline (which originally reported this) points out that we might have to wait for a while: Neither Kidman nor Bardem actually have deals in place yet, and Sorkin will still have to deal with the pandemic and its related shutdowns even once those deals happen—assuming they do happen and that we didn’t just blow this whole thing with our Bardem-as-Arnaz skepticism.