We’re about to take a closer—and perhaps darker—look at one of Old Hollywood’s most iconic couples, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The I Love Lucy co-stars are the center of Being the Ricardos, Aaron Sorkin’s new film focusing on the duo during a tumultuous time in their marriage and onscreen careers.
With Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem in the roles of Lucy and Desi, the project promises major star power. Here’s what else to know about the movie.
When does Being the Ricardos premiere?
The film arrives in theaters Dec. 10 and on Prime Video Dec. 21, right in time for the holidays.
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Is there a trailer?
The worldwide teaser, shared by Prime Video on Oct. 19, shares glimpses of Kidman as Lucille Ball on set with her husband. Fans who’ve been closely watching the production have already seen pap pics of the actress in full costume on set.
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What is it about?
According to Deadline, Being the Ricardos follows Ball and Arnaz over the course of one week of filming I Love Lucy, from a Monday table read to a Friday shoot, “when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.”
Despite their Hollywood romance, Ball and Arnaz, who married in 1940, had struggles behind the scenes. Four years into their marriage, Ball filed for divorce, citing her husband’s reported infidelity and drinking, but they reconciled before the split became official. Per Biography, the reunion allowed the couple to spend more time together, which led to the creation of I Love Lucy, their historic sitcom which aired from 1950 to 1957. They ultimately divorced in 1960.
Who’s in the movie?
Aside from Kidman and Bardem, Being the Ricardos also stars Jake Lacy (The White Lotus) as Bob Carroll Jr., an I Love Lucy writing partner; J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as actor William Frawley, who played Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy; Nina Arianda (Midnight in Paris) as actress Vivian Vance, who played Ethel on I Love Lucy; Tony Hale (Veep) as Executive Producer Jess Oppenheimer; and Alia Shawkat (Search Party) as writing partner Madelyn Pugh.
Before Kidman landed the role of Ball, Cate Blanchett was reportedly in talks for the role.
What have Lucy and Desi’s family had to say about the project?
Lucy and Desi’s children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr., are among the executive producers on Being the Ricardos.
On Instagram, Lucie called the film “amazing,” saying Sorkin “captured the heart of my mother, my father, their relationship.” She added that Kidman “became my mother’s soul” and Bardem “has my father’s wit, charm, and musicality.”
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When Kidman was first announced as part of the cast, Lucie Arnaz defended the actress’s casting in the role. (At the time, some fans spoke out, saying they preferred Debra Messing in the part.)
“We’re not doing a remake of I Love Lucy. No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo [or do] any of the silly things,” she said in a Facebook video, per IndieWire. “It’s the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother—not Lucy Ricardo—and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad—not Ricky Ricardo.”
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