Review of Hale, Shawkat & Lacy Join Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos

Hale, Shawkat & Lacy Join Aaron Sorkin's Being the Ricardos

Hale, Shawkat & Lacy join Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos

The roster for Aaron Sorkin’s Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz biographical drama Being the Ricardos is expanding as Arrested Development alums Tony Hale and Alia Shawkat and High Fidelity vet Jake Lacy have signed on to star, according to Variety.

RELATED: J.K. Simmons & Nina Arianda in Talks for Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos

Written and directed by the Oscar winning Trial of the Chicago 7 filmmaker, the story centers on the stars of iconic ’50s sitcom I Love Lucy during a week of production — beginning with table reads on Mondays and ending with audience filming on Fridays — and the real relationship of Ball and Arnaz and crisis threatening to end both their careers and their marriage. Word was that Sorkin originally had not intended to step behind the camera for the film, though after enjoying his experience on the Oscar-nominated Netflix historical drama decided he would make it his next directorial venture.

Being the Ricardos is a drama about the people behind the making of television’s most famous comedy,” Sorkin said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working with Nicole, Javier, J.K., Nina and the rest of our great cast.”

The film will star Oscar winners Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies) and Javier Bardem (Dune) as the central couple with Hale having signed on to star as the sitcom’s executive producer and head writer Jess Oppenheimer and Shawkat and Lacy set as the series’ longtime writing partners Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr. The trio join an ensemble roster already set to include J.K. Simmons (Invincible) and Nina Arianda (Goliath) as Lucy co-stars William Frawley and Vivian Vance as well as Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Nelson Franklin (Veep), John Rubenstein (Family), Linda Lavin (The Good Wife0, Robert Pine (CHiPs) and Christopher Denham (Billions).

“My brother Desi and I signed on because this is a story of our folk’s real-life passionate, tempestuous and complicated relationship and not a recreation of I Love Lucy – no one could do that,” executive producer Lucie Arnaz said in a statement. “We felt exploring that relationship could be an enlightening challenge. We asked Amazon for the best and we got it with every hire. Aaron Sorkin has not told this tale as a ‘cradle to grave’ biopic.  Instead, he’s chosen to illuminate a snippet of time during an incredibly intense period of their show’s enduring success. The casting choices have all been inspired and Desi and I are so looking forward to seeing what this impressive group of actors make of Sorkin’s delicious script.”

Production on the Amazon Studios project, which had originally begun development with Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok) set as Ball before an unexplained departure, is currently slated to begin sometime this week in Los Angeles.

RELATED: I Wanna Dance With Somebody: Naomi Ackie Nabs Whitney Houston Role in New Biopic

The film is set to be produced by Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch, with Escape’s Jenna Block and David Bloomfield, Stuart Besser, Lucie Arnaz, Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lauren Lohman all attached to the project as executive producers.

(Photo Credits: Getty Images)

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