Our first look at Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz has been revealed in snapshots taken from the set of Being the Ricardos. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the upcoming biopic delves into the lives of the real-life couple and I Love Lucy co-stars. The images of Kidman and Bardem have since been spreading on social media, and you can take a look at them below.
Being the Ricardos takes place over the course of a week during the production of I Love Lucy, which sees Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz encounter a crisis that could jeopardize their careers and marriage. Along with Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, the cast includes J. K. Simmons as Fred actor William Frawley and Nina Arianda as Ethel actress Vivian Vance. Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jake Lacy, and Clark Gregg also star.
Kidman's casting as Lucille Ball was met with a mixed response when the news was reported in January. Many fans were hoping to see Debra Messing get the part based on her portrayal of Ball in the final season of Will & Grace. In a tweet, Messing also confirmed that she was "available" to play the role, making it clear that she would have taken the part if asked. In response to the backlash, Ball's daughter Lucie Arnaz defended the decision to cast Kidman.
"There seems to be a lot of discussion about Nicole Kidman [and people saying] it should be Debra Messing," Arnaz said on Facebook in January. "I don't know, but here's the deal and what you should understand: We're not doing a remake ofI Love Lucy. No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo [or do] any of the silly things. It's the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother - not Lucy Ricardo - and her husband, Desi Arnaz, my dad - not Ricky Ricardo."
While no one is disputing that Messing nailed her I Love Lucy spoof on Will & Grace, the point is that Being the Ricardos will not be showing much of the classic 50s sitcom. The biopic will focus more on the lives of the lead stars behind the scenes, but that doesn't necessarily mean we won't be seeing any I Love Lucy. Sorkin hinted as much in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight.
"I think that the people thought that we've cast them as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo," he said. "The film takes place during a production week ofI Love Lucy - a Monday table read to Friday audience taping, with a whole bunch of long flashbacks which are telling the story that got us here -- and because there's a table read, there's rehearsals and then there's tape night, we do see moments of them being Lucy and Ricky Ricardo."
Sorkin added: "We see moments from an episode of I Love Lucy. But mostly they are playing Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. And they're going to be fantastic. These are two of the greatest actors ever."
Being the Ricardos does not yet have an official release date set at Amazon. The images from the set come to us from Film Updates on Twitter.