Australia’s Cate Blanchett is set to play the iconic comedian Lucille Ball in an upcoming film. Although Blanchett has not officially signed to the project it appears the deal is all but done.
The television movie has been commissioned for the Amazon streaming platform and will document Lucille Ball’s years as a television star. Ball’s road to stardom was long and winding. In the 1930s and ‘40s she was variously a “Ziegfeld Girl”, a “Goldwyn Girl”, a contract player for RKO studios and MGM’s unofficial “Queen of the B’s” as in B-movies. The 1950s were the making of her. In 1951 she and husband Desi Arnaz created the ground-breaking television situation comedy I Love Lucy. It ran until 1957 and set the way American sitcoms would be made for the following fifty years. In 1962 Ball became head of DesiLu studios and the first woman to run a television studio.
Her relationship with husband Desi is also in the spotlight and it is notable that Lucy and Desi’s son and daughter Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr are producing the project. (Older AccessReelers may remember them from the 1970s series Here’s Lucy where they stretched themselves artistically and played their mother’s son and daughter, Craig and Kim.)
The film will have a lot of material to cover and the task of writing this has been handed to Aaron Sorkin of television’s The West Wing as well THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010) and MONEYBALL (2011).
There has been the usual fan argy-bargy online. There are some who feel Will and Grace’s Debra Messing was a perfect fit for the role, but here at AccessReel we feel Blanchett’s three Golden Globe wins and two Oscars speak for themselves. Javier Bardem is the top pick to play husband Desi.