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2 items from 2017

Amazon Snags Lucille Ball Biopic Starring Cate Blanchett

7 August 2017 12:01 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Lucille Ball in “I Love Lucy

Looks like the long-gestating Lucille Ball biopic is finally happening. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the untitled film about comedy legend Ball has landed at Amazon and Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is in talks to star. Aaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs,” “The Social Network”) penned the script. A director isn’t attached yet.

Ball is best known for portraying the titular character on the classic sitcom “I Love Lucy,” on which she starred and produced with her then-husband, Desi Arnaz. The couple formed Desilu Productions in 1950, which developed shows like “I Love Lucy,” other Ball vehicles including “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” and “The Lucy Show,” and renowned series “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” and “That Girl.”

The iconic actress is also known for her film work, including starring roles in “The Facts of Life,” “Yours, Mine and Ours,” and “Mame.”

Throughout her career Ball collected four Emmy wins (from 13 nods), the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Comedy Awards, the Television Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award, and the Women in Film Crystal Award. Women in Film eventually renamed their awards ceremony to the Crystal + Lucy Awards in honor of Ball. The Lucy is given to women with outstanding achievement in TV.

Ball and Arnaz’s children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr., are producing the authorized Ball biopic with Escape Artists’ Jenna Block.

Blanchett has received six Academy Award nominations and won for her turns in “The Aviator” and “Blue Jasmine.” You can catch her in theaters now as 13 different personas in “Manifesto.” “Ocean’s Eight,” the all-female “Ocean’s 11” reboot co-starring Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, and Rihanna, and the film adaptation of Maria Semple’s bestseller “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” are among her upcoming projects.

Jessica Chastain stars in Sorkin’s next project, “Molly’s Game.” Based on Molly Bloom’s memoir, the film follows Bloom as she switches gears from Olympic skiing to developing a high-stakes, FBI-bait poker game. Sorkin wrote and directed the biopic, which hits theaters November 22.

Amazon Snags Lucille Ball Biopic Starring Cate Blanchett was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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More 4th of July Escapism: Small-Town Iowa and Declaration of Independence Musicals

4 July 2017 11:58 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

(See previous post: Fourth of July Movies: Escapism During a Weird Year.) On the evening of the Fourth of July, besides fireworks, fire hazards, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you're watching TCM in the U.S. and Canada, there's the following: Peter H. Hunt's 1776 (1972), a largely forgotten film musical based on the Broadway hit with music by Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, who was recently on TCM talking about 1776 and a couple of other movies (A Thousand Clowns, Dodsworth), has one of the key roles as John Adams. Howard Da Silva, blacklisted for over a decade after being named a communist during the House Un-American Committee hearings of the early 1950s (Robert Taylor was one who mentioned him in his testimony), plays Benjamin Franklin. Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, a role he would reprise in John Huston's 1976 short Independence. (In the short, Pat Hingle was cast as John Adams; Eli Wallach was Benjamin Franklin.) Warner »

- Andre Soares

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