The late, great Lucille Ball passed away eighteen years ago, and it’s surprising that it’s taken that long to get a biopic of any kind made based on her amazing life, maybe because it would take a screenwriter on the level of an Aaron Sorkin to figure out the best way to culminate her career into a two-hour movie.
Sure enough, Sorkin has written a script that’s been authorized by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s children, and now, Amazon has picked up the rights to make that movie with Cate Blanchett in talks to play the beloved television star.
Sorkin and Blanchett signed on as a duo nearly two years ago but Blanchett’s involvement might still be dependent on who directs and her approval of the script. It still sounds like a potent combination for any movie, and Amazon clearly sees potential awards on the horizon.
What’s interesting about Ball’s life — actually there’s a LOT that’s interesting — is that she began a career as a model when she was just 18 years old. She had a career on Broadway and had a few small movie roles before she eloped with Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz in 1940, at the age of 29.
It would still be ten years before Ball would get involved with television, producing and starring in I Love Lucy, one of the earliest television sitcoms and rumored to be a last ditch attempt to save her marriage. Nine years later, she would get divorced from Arnaz at the age of 49.
Cate Blanchett is currently 48 years old, but she’s also an Oscar-winning actress — having won two out six nominations — and few Vegas bookies would put odds against her getting many, many more. The movie will mainly cover Ball’s years on television and marriage to Arnaz, so Blanchett shouldn’t have a problem playing younger.
Sorkin, meanwhile, is making his directorial debut with Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain as skier-turned-entrepeneur, scheduled for release by STX Entertainment on November 22.
Lucie and Desi Arnaz, Jr. will be producing the movie alongside with Escape Artists, who are also producing the movie based on the Monica Lewinski / LInda Tripp Black List script. Jenna Block will be the main producer on the Lucille Ball project.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor