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Being the Ricardos: The True Love Story on and off the Screen

A biopic about the classic Hollywood couple is in the works with Amazon Studios and Escape Artists. Being the Ricardos focuses on the life of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and their love life both on and off-screen. Ball and Arnaz starred in the sitcom I Love Lucy as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo for six seasons, from 1951 to 1957 on CBS. In the show, Lucy was a middle-class housewife living in NYC, while her husband Ricky was a Cuban bandleader who wanted to enter the show business.

As of right now, Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem are in talks to play the famous couple behind TV’s first family. According to Deadline, the film will take place over one week of production on the I Love Lucy set. It will begin with a Monday table read and end with them filming an episode on Friday in front of a live audience. Throughout this time, Lucy and Desi face multiple challenges that put their careers and marriage in jeopardy.

Academy Award winner, Aaron Sorkin, is set to write and direct the film. Sorkin has written notable films, such as Moneyball and The Social Network. He also directed Molly’s Game and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Sorkin is known for creating screenplays that consist of a plot in a limited timeframe. This was seen in his screenplay for Steve Jobs where he took several years of Job’s life and narrowed down the timeframe of the plot into three days.

[bf_image id="nhmbgb9558jwmsh79j398xpp"] The couple got married in 1940, but Ball filed for divorce four years later after Arnaz was reported to have committed infidelity. They reconciled and as a result, the proceedings did not go through. They both continued to star in I Love Lucy, which led them to stardom. They officially divorced in 1960. In America’s eyes, The Ricardos were shown having a healthy marriage on screen. However, in real life, their relationship was the complete opposite. Slashfilm reported that Ball considered their marriage to be a nightmare. 

I Love Lucy became one of the most-watched TV shows in the United States and was considered one of the most influential sitcoms of all time. Before filming I Love Lucy, Ball was considered for the TV Show, My Favorite Husband, with Richard Denning as her co-star. Ball saw an opportunity to work with Arnaz, who she insisted play her husband. CBS was not fond of the idea of hiring Arnaz because he was Cuban. Executives believed that the audience wouldn’t believe that an American woman and a Latin man could be married. After a successful vaudeville act between Ball and Arnaz, TV networks started to see the sitcom as a worthwhile venture. Eventually, other networks wanted to take on the show, resulting in CBS to sign I Love Lucy. The couple later founded Desilu Productions, which not only produced I Love Lucy but also Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. Ball became the first woman to run a major television studio. Their relationship helped transform the TV industry by showing a non-traditional family in the 1950s and paving the way for more diversity to appear on the screen.

While there is no set release date or production schedule of Being the Ricardos due to COVID-19, we do know that the executive producers will consist of Arnaz and Ball’s real children, Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz.

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Veronica Polanco is a junior at Florida State University majoring in English with a concentration in Editing, Writing, and Media. She loves watching movies, going to the mall, and exploring new places.
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