Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jake Lacy, Clark Gregg and more have rounded out the cast of Being the Ricardos, a biopic of sorts of I Love Lucy stars and real-life couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz that stars Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem. Aaron Sorkin wrote and is directing the Amazon Studios drama, which has now started principal photography.
The film is set during one production week of the iconic TV comedy I Love Lucy — the Monday table read through Friday audience filming — when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage. J.K. Simmons and Nina Arianda play Lucy and Desi’s I Love Lucy co-stars William Frawley and Vivian Vance.
With the additions to the cast, Hale will play I Love Lucy executive producer and head writer Jess Oppenheimer, while Shawkat and Lacy will portray the show’s longtime writing partners Madelyn Pugh & Bob Carroll Jr. Gregg, Nelson Franklin, John Rubinstein, Linda Lavin, Robert Pine and Christopher Denham have also come aboard.
Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch are producing the pic, with executive producers Jenna Block, David Bloomfield of Escape Artists, Stuart Besser, Lucie Arnaz, Desi Arnaz, Jr. and Lauren Lohman.
Sorkin originally was going to pen the script only, when Cate Blanchett was circling to play Ball, but after enjoying himself on the drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, he decided to attach himself as a director. Chicago 7 is currently up for six Oscars including Best Picture and for Sorkin’s screenplay.
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