Cate Blanchett is in talks to lead a Lucille Ball biopic newly acquired by Amazon. The film is one in a long line of upcoming movies for the Academy Award-winner. Within the next two years alone, she’s set to make her superhero debut as the villainous Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, out in November; appear in heist comedy Ocean’s Eight alongside a stacked cast including Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, and Rihanna; voice Kaa in Andy Serkis’ live action Jungle Book remake; and star in Richard Linklater dramedy Where’d You Go, Bernadette, an adaptation of Maria Semple’s bestselling 2012 novel.
And it’s far from the first time Blanchett has tackled a biopic. Her turn as Queen Elizabeth I of England in Shekhar Kapur’s 1998 Elizabeth launched her into the international spotlight, and she reprised the role for 2007’s Elizabeth: The Golden Age, for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. More recently, she starred in 2015 docudrama Truth, based on journalist Mary Mapes’ memoir, Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power.
The Lucille Ball feature, as of yet untitled, has been floating around since at least 2015. The script was written by West Wing creator Aaaron Sorkin, who’s also written acclaimed films like The Social Network and Moneyball. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie will trace the life of Ball, a venerable icon who starred on self-produced TV sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy, among a trove of other credits.
Ball was nominated for 13 Emmys and won four times, and she also won the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1979. As the first woman to run a major television studio, she’s largely remembered for staking new ground for women on-screen. Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., her children with first husband (and I Love Lucy co-star) Desi Arnaz, will produce the film with Escape Artists.
The biopic adds to a spate of recent acquisitions from Amazon, who nabbed the rights to Black List script Linda and Monica, a project detailing the relationship between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, just last weekend. It’s another big get for the streaming giant, who joins competitors like Netflix and Hulu in the push for major tentpoles. Among Amazon’s recent successes are Kenneth Lonergan’s Academy Award-winning Manchester By the Sea and critically beloved rom com The Big Sick.
A release date for the Lucille Ball film has not yet been announced.
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