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Cate Blanchett to star in Lucille Ball biopic written by Sorkin

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An update from Aaron Sorkin:

Lucy and Desi

Though he has yet to write a single word, Sorkin already has a star (Cate Blanchett as Lucille Ball), a distributor (Amazon Studios) and the support of Ball and Desi Arnaz's children. What he knows at this stage: His latest peek behind the scenes will examine a single production week at I Love Lucy, from table read to audience taping. For Sorkin, the pioneering TV personalities offered several appealing factors, beyond simply the backdrop. "Their relationship is very interesting to me," he says. "And she is interesting to me. I didn't know that she was accused of being a communist."

 

This scenario isn't what I expected.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/aaron-sorkin-goes-script-fears-critics-his-private-battles-behind-mollys-game-1062019

 

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Yawn. How is this going to give us any real drama? This show became a well oiled machine that it took 4 days to do then they were off to Palm Springs for a 3 day weekend. Are we going to get the inside writing process, nights editing, what is going on in Bill and Viv's life too? Lots of phone calls with Desi in his office. So just a week in making a TV show huh? Yeah been there done that. Its not all that exciting.

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I suppose it all hinges on what week they choose. If they choose the week of the "Red Scare" incident, that'd give them something meatier, I suppose. Or else the very first week. I'll give them this much - this approach seems much smarter than simply trying to cram 20 or so years into two hours. In that instance, it'd simply cover most of the same, familiar ground the two TV movies did.

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So I got to thinking about this the other day. With a focus on the interworkings of a week in the life of I Love Lucy as the new focus it changes how we are thinking of Cate. Many of us have said that she is a good dramatic actress and will be able to capture Lucille. More criticism has been about her playing Lucy Ricardo, and many come back with she’s playing “Lucille”. Well now that we have a stronger focus on the show itself, there has to be times where they will be showing her play “Lucy”, so the question is, can she play “Lucy’? Something that we keep dismissing when casting choices are talked about.

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Outside of Diane and Suzanne, we all know no one can "play" Lucy, but since Cate pulled off playing  Bob Dylan, I'm sure she'll be able to come close.

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I was thinking the same thing. Blanchett has proven very adept at adopting different voices and mannerisms, so I think she'll convince as both Lucille Ball and Lucy Ricardo. 

Regarding previous actresses who've tried playing Ball as the Lucy character, I feel Rachel York was superior to Frances Fisher. No, York didn't "become" Lucy or anything close, but her musical comedy background served her well, and she at least made the transitions between actress and character convincing. 

Suzanne LaRusch wrote that she auditioned for the role, but was told she was too old. She also commented on what little time Rachel had to prepare because of the rushed schedule, but complimented her on the grape-stomping scene.

If nothing else, at least this latest movie isn't being rushed in any way. I'm glad all involved are taking their time. 

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From a current article on a bunch of stuff about Sorkin. Looks like we're getting Red Scare week.

Sorkin is currently trying to write a script about 50s comedian Lucille Ball and her volatile relationship with her husband Desi Arnaz. It will star Cate Blanchett and examine another dark period in Hollywood, when Senator McCarthy's hounding of suspected communists ripped through the heart of a creative community. I ask if Sorkin ever imagines himself working in that time of febrile paranoia.

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4 hours ago, Luvsbway said:

From a current article on a bunch of stuff about Sorkin. Looks like we're getting Red Scare week.

Sorkin is currently trying to write a script about 50s comedian Lucille Ball and her volatile relationship with her husband Desi Arnaz. It will star Cate Blanchett and examine another dark period in Hollywood, when Senator McCarthy's hounding of suspected communists ripped through the heart of a creative community. I ask if Sorkin ever imagines himself working in that time of febrile paranoia.

Aha. I figured this would likely be the week they'd focus on. 

Now, to my understanding, this wasn't a "volatile" week for the Arnazes as a couple. Desi was very supportive of her during the red scare, right?

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7 hours ago, Mot Morenzi said:

Aha. I figured this would likely be the week they'd focus on. 

Now, to my understanding, this wasn't a "volatile" week for the Arnazes as a couple. Desi was very supportive of her during the red scare, right?

The second TV movie showed him being a jerk to her, but in reality from everything I've read he was totally supportive of her and worked so hard to spin this incident the right way. They were so busy with the show and defecting this incident I don't think they had time to have personal conflicts with each other. There's a lot of drama in that week, but no marriage drama.

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7 minutes ago, Luvsbway said:

The second TV movie showed him being a jerk to her, but in reality from everything I've read he was totally supportive of her and worked so hard to spin this incident the right way. They were so busy with the show and defecting this incident I don't think they had time to have personal conflicts with each other. There's a lot of drama in that week, but no marriage drama.

That's what I thought. I never liked the way the 2nd movie depicted that incident. It'd be nice to show them working together, rather than against one another, if this new film gets off the ground. The constant rehashing of their marital woes gets old. 

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3 hours ago, Mot Morenzi said:

That's what I thought. I never liked the way the 2nd movie depicted that incident. It'd be nice to show them working together, rather than against one another, if this new film gets off the ground. The constant rehashing of their marital woes gets old. 

So if we are getting this week who will play Winchell? And can we get a reappearance of Judy Davis as Hedda? 

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I'm hearing an unconfirmed rumor that this movie has recently and quietly started production. Last I heard was Lucie saying in an interview around August that Sorkin was still working on the script. Along with the rumor was that this movie was the reason Cate pulled out of the 2019 London Production of All About Eve. Linked below is that announcement, but it's from March 2018. Would they even have known this movie was going to start filming back then if the script hadn't even been finished yet?

http://www.playbill.com/article/cate-blanchett-withdraws-from-all-about-eve-stage-adaptation

 

Just found this bit of info from this thread.

So I just learned why Cate Blanchett withdrew from ALL ABOUT EVE — the highly anticipated Aaron Sorkin scripted LUCY & DESI biopic just began production, alas quietly with no press announcement. A friend of mine just joined the production and had to sign a secrecy release so he can’t say anything aside from her name and the film title. He says it’s a huge film and the rest of the cast is insane.  He can’t go into details but he did say he saw Cate in her Lucille Ball get-up.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1110602&dt=22

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Cate Blanchett will be starring in a play, When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, at the National Theatre in London from January 16 to the beginning of March. I assume she is currently in rehearsals for that. I can’t believe they would start work on the movie without any updates regarding casting or anything. 

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1 hour ago, HarryCarter said:

Cate Blanchett will be starring in a play, When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, at the National Theatre in London from January 16 to the beginning of March. I assume she is currently in rehearsals for that. I can’t believe they would start work on the movie without any updates regarding casting or anything. 

See that's why this is fishy. There is still no Desi cast last I heard and you think they would want to publicize that.  Also in looking for the All About Eve info, I came across that Cate was doing a London show in the "spring" so that bit had me wondering too. Thanks for the dates on that. 

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8 hours ago, Luvsbway said:

See that's why this is fishy. There is still no Desi cast last I heard and you think they would want to publicize that.  Also in looking for the All About Eve info, I came across that Cate was doing a London show in the "spring" so that bit had me wondering too. Thanks for the dates on that. 

We also haven’t heard anything about a director. 

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11 hours ago, HarryCarter said:

Still no announcement of a director, but the film has qualified for a California tax credit to shoot in the state. Seems like progress.

Progress indeed. I was beginning to think it was all finished and had been put in storage. 

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On 9/2/2015 at 4:24 PM, Mot Morenzi said:

Maybe Kate Winslet as Vivian?

I'm still not convinced with Cate playing Lucy. Yes she is a great actress but doesn't mean she'd make a great Lucy. Just like Tom Hanks playing Mr. Rodgers. I don't see Mr. Rodgers I see Tom Hanks. But maybe she'll surprise us. 

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 On Tuesday, during the 

Amazonexecutive session at TCAJennifer Salke gave updates and teases on the slate of projects at the streaming platform. One of them was the Lucille Ball biopic written by Aaron Sorkinand starring Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett as the Hollywood icon.

Salke said the feature is “very much active” and they are currently working with Sorkin, Blanchett and producer Todd Black. She adds that they’re also meeting with directors, but didn’t name any particular filmmakers in the running.

As previously reported, the biopic will center on the marriage of Ball and Desi Arnaz, her co-star on the seminal sitcom I Love Lucy and partner in powerhouse Desilu Studios; they were married for 20 years before divorcing in 1960. Their children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., would also produce.


 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/deadline.com/2020/01/amazon-meeting-with-directors-for-aaron-sorkins-lucille-ball-feature-starring-cate-blanchett-tca-1202830473/amp/

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Spoiler alert:  they get divorced...

Hasn't this movie already been made TWICE?  Will it start with them not speaking on the Ernie Kovacs set and flashback?  Again?  Unless they cover a specific event in someone's life, biopics are a tricky thing because real life usually has no flowing plot.   The Lucy-Desi history is so ingrained, they can't fiddle with the timeline or dramatize something that didn't actually happen.  I think we've romanticized Lucy and Desi into the Ricardos over the years--with Gary being an annoying footnote; as is her very impressive post-ILL career.    No one, NO ONE has been able to recreate Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo.  Many have tried.  Some get a couple of things right.  But Lucille Ball's portrayal of Lucy Ricardo, and our love affair with her, is at the crux of any story about Lucy and Desi.    Am I mistaken or in Desi's "A Book", did he suggest Lucy actually tried to kill him FOR REAL with a gun that turned out to be a cigarette lighter---and he calmly lit his cigarette from the flame?   There are SO many things wrong with this story.  First off, wouldn't Lucy know it's not a real gun (and she obviously didn't try to load it)?  And it's nice of Lucy to keep the flame going by keeping her finger solidly on the trigger, so Desi could do his cigarette lighting bit....yeah, right.   Didn't he also hand her a piece of paper containing the name of the man she was having an affair with?   Did we ever find out who that was?  (Don Loper?)

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22 minutes ago, Neil said:

Spoiler alert:  they get divorced...

  Didn't he also hand her a piece of paper containing the name of the man she was having an affair with?   Did we ever find out who that was?  (Don Loper?)

I came across a letter written to Desi's book editor directly addressing this name and phone number passage. The party who wrote the letter ( I wish I could remember the connection) was very concerned about it as it was a direct accusation that she was having an affair and by her reaction admitted to it. I think they were questioning if this whole incident should be in the book.

 

 

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