Cate Blanchett Will Star In What Could Be The Lucille Ball Biopic Of Our Dreams

Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
While Cate Blanchett isn't exactly known for pratfalls, we're all in for her playing Lucille Ball in a biopic. Aaron Sorkin writing that film? Well, that's a bit more worrisome.

The Wrap reports that Blanchett will star as the famous redheaded comedian in an authorized biopic to be penned by The West Wing creator. According to The Wrap, the movie will focus on Ball's marriage to collaborator Desi Arnaz, and is being produced by the couple's children. So, you might wonder, Did Ball and Arnaz do frequent walk-and-talks?

On the one hand, Sorkin’s knack for making intricate, insider worlds accessible seems like a good fit for a story about a woman who was just as important behind the scenes as she was in front of the camera. But Sorkin’s involvement also given some critics pause, considering that he doesn’t have the best track record with writing female characters. His TV series The Newsroom is the most recent, egregious example of this, and The Social Network was also criticized for having a woman problem. "You've got some mansplainin' to do!" TV critic James Poniewozik tweeted, perfectly, after news broke of the the Lucille Ball project. Anne Helen Petersen, author of Scandals of Classic Hollywood, wrote, "You know who'd be great to write the story of Lucille Ball, one of the pioneering television auteurs? A WOMAN."

(It's worth noting, Deadline reports that "there is no deal yet for Sorkin." Representatives for Blanchett and Sorkin did not respond to inquiries about the project from Refinery29.)

Yet, we can’t help being excited — perhaps despite our better judgment — since Blanchett is such an inspired choice to play Ball. Sure, comedy hasn't been a primary focus of her work, but some of her best roles — like Jasmine in Blue Jasmine incorporate her flare for the absurd, even as she projects heartbreaking humanity. Blanchett is also an amazing physical performer, which primes her for grape-stomping antics. (For evidence of this, look to her stage performance in The Maids.) And, finally, her Oscar-winning turn in The Aviator proves that she can play a Hollywood figure whose mannerisms are well known (in that case, Katharine Hepburn) without descending into pure imitation.

So, yes, even though we have some trepidation, we're basically counting down the minutes to this film's release. For now, we'll tide ourselves over with the upcoming fall projects from Blanchett and Sorkin: Carol and Steve Jobs, respectively. We're also joining the movement that's quickly gaining steam to get Oscar Isaac cast as Arnaz.
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