The real-life story of two comedy legends is set to become a new movie thanks to Amazon. The retailer’s film division, Amazon Studios, has acquired the rights to Lucy and Desi, a new film from Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network).
Actress Cate Blanchett is attached to play Lucille Ball in the film, which has been stuck in development hell for several years.
The studio is said to be moving quickly to find a big name actor for the role of Desi Arnaz, with Javier Bardem mentioned as one possibility.
There’s also a hunt for actors to play William Frawley and Vivian Vance, who were Lucy and Desi’s best friends, Fred and Ethel, on I Love Lucy.
The rights for the movie include access to the official memoirs written by both Arnaz and Ball, which are now controlled by the couple’s children, Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Luckinbill.
Ball and Arnaz had a famously tumultuous relationship that nonetheless created some of the most enduring entertainment legacies in history.
Not only is I Love Lucy still considered one of the greatest television shows of all time, but the couple’s Desilu Productions (ran solely by Ball after 1962) was responsible for the creation of shows like Mission: Impossible and Star Trek.
There have been previous attempts to bring this Hollywood love story to the screen, including 1991’s Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, with Francis Fisher and Maurice Bernard in the title roles.
In 2003, CBS aired a television movie simply titled Lucy, which starred Rachel York as Lucille Ball, but the film was criticized for a number of historical inaccuracies.
No production date or release date has yet been announced for Lucy and Desi. Unlike their competitor, Netflix, Amazon Studios does release their films in theaters before bringing them to their streaming service, so look for the new movie to appear on the big screen in either 2018 or 2019.