A story behind one of the most influential shows of all time, Being the Ricardos will open in theaters December 10 and will be available on Prime Video December 21.
Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) are threatened by shocking personal accusations, a political smear and cultural taboos in Academy Award-winning writer and director Aaron Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes drama Being the Ricardos.
A revealing glimpse of the couple’s complex romantic and professional relationship, the film takes audiences into the writers’ room, onto the soundstage and behind closed doors with Ball and Arnaz during one critical production week of their groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy.
“Being the Ricardos is a drama about the people behind the making of television’s most famous comedy. I’m looking forward to working with Nicole, Javier, J.K., Nina and the rest of our great cast,” Sorkin said previously.
Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (The Undoing) is the eponymous redheaded star of I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball, and fellow Oscar winner Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls, No 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 Love Lucy, Ball and Arnaz portrayed America’s most famous TV couple, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. But in real life their relationship was infamously more complex and tumultuous than the hilarious fictional characters they portray.
Executive producer Lucie Arnaz said, “My brother Desi and I signed on because this is a story of our folk’s real-life passionate, tempestuous and complicated relationship and not a recreation of I Love Lucy – no one could do that. We felt exploring that relationship could be an enlightening challenge. We asked Amazon for the best and we got it with every hire.”
Arnaz added: “Aaron Sorkin has not told this tale as a ‘cradle to grave’ biopic. Instead, he’s chosen to illuminate a snippet of time during an incredibly intense period of their show’s enduring success. The casting choices have all been inspired and Desi and I are so looking forward to seeing what this impressive group of actors make of Sorkin’s delicious script.”
Being the Ricardos co-stars Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Palm Springs) and Nina Arianda (Stan & Ollie, Florence Foster Jenkins) as Lucy and Desi’s I Love 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 Love Lucy executive producer and head writer Jess Oppenheimer, along with Alia Shawkat (Search Party, Arrested Development) and Jake Lacy (Fosse/Verdon, The Office) as the show’s longtime writing partners, Madelyn Pugh & Bob Carroll Jr.
Rounding out the cast are Clark Gregg (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Nelson Franklin (Veep), John Rubinstein (Family), Linda Lavin (Alice, The Good Wife), Robert Pine (CHiPs) and Christopher Denham (Billions).
Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Social Network) penned the original screenplay for Being the Ricardos and also directs. This marks Sorkin’s third film as director following Molly’s Game and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch 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 director of photography Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (The Social Network, Gone Girl), production designer Jon Hutman (Unbroken, It’s Complicated), and costume designer Susan Lyall (The Trial of the Chicago 7, Molly’s Game).
Also on board are set decorator Ellen Brill (Bombshell, American Horror Story) three-time Oscar-nominated sound mixer Steven Morrow (Ford v Ferrari, A Star Is Born, La La Land), and two-time Oscar nominated editor Alan Baumgarten (The Trial of the Chicago 7, American Hustle).