Back in the fall of 2015, a number of high-profile names were announced as being involved with a Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz biopic feature: the Aaron Sorkin-scripted Lucy and Desi had two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett attached to star as the TV legend who became the face of I Love Lucy. The project was setup to tell of Ball and Arnaz’s 20-year marriage, their time as co-stars on the hit comedy series, and their divorce in 1960 after the show’s end. Lucy and Desi even had the support of the pair’s next generation, with Lucie Luckinbill née Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. onboard to produce. But it’s been a couple of years with no new news.
Until today, when Deadline reported that Amazon Studios has acquired rights to the planned biopic. Apparently there is also momentum when it comes to casting the rest of the project, which obviously includes Desi Arnaz, but also the parts of the comedy’s characters Fred and Ethel Mertz, played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance. No names are currently in the mix for those parts, but Oscar-winner Javier Bardem is currently be courted to play Desi.
Based in part on the memoirs written by Ball and Arnaz’s children, which tell of their parents’ romance as well as their business relationship, Lucy and Desi will bring a classic Hollywood story to the screen. Their legacy goes well beyond just I Love Lucy‘s fame; their production company Desilu Productions also brought about The Untouchables and a little series known as Star Trek during their time as the second-largest independent production slate. Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch will also produce the project.