Amazon Studios began photography for writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s drama The Ricardos are this week in Los Angeles. Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem star as a couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the stars behind the groundbreaking and classic 1950s television series I like Lucy, which centered on a happily married but seemingly mismatched couple – an American housewife with flame hair and accidents, and her sensible Cuban-American bandleader husband – that went on to become the top-rated and most-loved show of the era.
The film takes place during a production week of I like Lucy-Monday table read during public filming on Friday-when Lucy and Desi face one crisis that could end their career and another that could end their marriage.
The Ricardos are is a drama about the people behind the making of television’s most famous comedy. I look forward to working with Nicole, Javier, J.K., Nina and the rest of our amazing cast, ”said writer-director Aaron Sorkin.
Academy Award Winner Nicole Kidman (Undo it) is the eponymous redhead star of I like Lucy, Lucille Ball and fellow Oscar winner Javier Bardem (Before night falls Not a country for old men) is her husband, Desi Arnaz, the Cuban-American actor, musician and president of their television production company Desilu Productions. On I like Lucy, Ball and Arnaz played America’s most famous TV couple, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. But in real life, their relationship was notoriously more complex and tumultuous than the hilarious fictional characters they portray.
Executive Producer Lucie Arnaz says, “My brother Desi and I signed up because this is a story about our people’s passionate, turbulent and complicated relationship and not a recreation of our people. I like Lucy – no one could do that. We felt that exploring that relationship could be an enlightening challenge. We asked Amazon for the best, and we got it with every hiring. Aaron Sorkin did not tell this story as a ‘cradle to grave’ biopic. Instead, he chose to spend a bit of time highlighting an incredibly intense period of their show’s enduring success. The casting choices are all inspired and Desi and I are so excited to see what this impressive group of actors think of Sorkin’s delightful script. “
Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Palm Springs) and Nina Arianda (Stan & Ollie, Florence Foster Jenkins) as Lucy and Desi’s I like Lucy co-stars William Frawley and Vivian Vance. Frawley played the Ricardo’s neighbor Fred Mertz on the iconic sitcom, and Vance was Fred’s wife and Lucy’s best friend, Ethel Mertz.
Joining the ensemble in co-starring roles are two-time Emmy winner Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development) as I like Lucy executive producer and lead writer Jess Oppenheimer, along with Alia Shawkat (Find party Arrested development) and Jake Lacy (Fosse / Verdon The office) as the show’s longtime writing partners, Madelyn Pugh & Bob Carroll Jr.
The cast is rounded off by Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Nelson Franklin (Veep), John Rubinstein (Family), Linda Lavin (Alice The good wife), Robert Pine (Potato chips) and Christopher Denham (Billions
Academy Award and Golden Globe Winner Aaron Sorkin (The Chicago Trial 7 The social network) wrote the original screenplay and also directed. This is Sorkin’s third film as a director after Molly’s Game and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch of Escape Artists are producing, and executive producers are Jenna Block, David Bloomfield of Escape Artists, Stuart Besser, Lucie Arnaz, Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Lauren Lohman.
Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes team includes Oscar-nominated photography director Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (The social network Gone girl), production designer Jon Hutman (Unbroken It’s complicated), costume designer Susan Lyall (The Chicago Trial 7 Molly’s Game), decorator Ellen Brill (Bomb American horror story) three-time Oscar-nominated sound mixer Steven Morrow (Ford against Ferrari A star is born La La Land), and two-time Oscar-nominated editor Alan Baumgarten (The Chicago Trial 7 American bustle
Subjects: I love Lucy