Everything We Know About 'Being the Ricardos'

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Meg Donohue
·3 min read
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Photo credit: Archive Photos - Getty Images
Photo credit: Archive Photos - Getty Images


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Lucy and Ricky are heading to the big screen. Aaron Sorkin's Being the Ricardos, starring Nicole Kidman as Ball and Javier Bardem as Arnaz, will offer viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the stars' tumultuous relationship.

Here's everything we know so far about Being the Ricardos.

Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem will star in the film.

Kidman will play Lucille Ball, and Bardem will play Desi Arnaz. Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7, The West Wing) wrote the screenplay and will direct.

The famous onscreen neighbors Fred and Ethel Mertz have also been cast, per Harper’s Bazaar. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) will portray William Frawley, who originally played Fred. Nina Arianda plays Vivian Vance, the original Ethel. Other cast members include Tony Hale (Veep) and Alia Shawkat (Search Party, Arrested Development).

Kidman told Variety she’s learned a lot about the real-life Lucille through her research. “I love Lucille, having looked now and delved into her,” she said. Kidman went on to praise Sorkin’s work, saying, “I'm very excited for people to see what Aaron found out about her and the way he's interpreted Desi and Lucy and the way that it's so rich. I didn't know any of this.”

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But Kidman’s casting also came with some criticism from fans. The couple's daughter Lucie Arnaz, who will serve as an executive producer of the film alongside her brother Desi Arnaz, Jr., responded to these reactions in a Facebook video in January. "Here’s the deal and what you should understand: We're not doing a remake of I Love Lucy,” she said. “No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo [or do] any of the silly things. It's the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother—not Lucy Ricardo—and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad—not Ricky Ricardo."

The plot will follow the couple through a “crisis.”

As Arnaz notes, Sorkin’s film will not be a remake of the hit show. “It is a story of the two of them and how they met,” she said in the video, “and what went right with finding the show and what went wrong, their relationship, their love affair.”

The movie will follow Ball and Arnaz–and their real-life relationship–throughout a week of filming I Love Lucy, per Deadline. Little else about the plot is known publicly, except that it will be complicated by a “crisis” that jeopardizes both Ball and Arnaz's careers and relationship.

Ball and Arnaz married in 1940–just six months after meeting. I Love Lucy aired from 1951 to 1957, and the couple divorced shortly after in 1960.

Being the Ricardos is currently in production.

Filming began in Los Angeles in late March, according to Harper's Bazaar, but a release date has yet to be shared publicly. In the meantime, catch up on all six seasons of I Love Lucy on Hulu.

Stream I Love Lucy on Hulu

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