First photos of Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball on set of new film leave fans divided

Nicole Kidman Lucille Ball

The first pictures have emerged of Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in her upcoming film Being the Ricardos, and fans are divided.

Fans were surprised when Kidman was announced to be playing the acclaimed actress and comedian, who died in 1989 at the age of 77.

Some suggested at the time that Nicole Kidman wasn’t the right person to play Lucille Ball – and photos from the set of Being the Ricardos have added fuel to the fire.

Pictures released by the Daily Mail show Kidman with long red hair wrapped in a heavy coat on the set of the Amazon film – and fans were quick to weigh in on social media.

Lucille Ball fans remain unconvinced by Nicole Kidman casting

Some Lucille Ball fans expressed their dismay at the casting choice, while others suggested other actors they thought would be a better fit for the role.

However, others were quick to point out that people should wait to see the finished product before casting judgement on Kidman’s performance.

Being the Ricardos is expected to focus on a single week in Lucille Ball’s life as she and her husband, I Love Lucy co-star Desi Arnaz, played by Javier Bardem, “face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage”.

Speaking about the role in January, Nicole Kidman told Variety that she was keen to “give it a go” when director Aaron Sorkin offered it to her.

“With Aaron’s words and his direction and Javier… that’s kind of a wonderful prospect to, you know. But yikes, off we go. Give it a go. Try my best – see if I can do it.”

She also revealed that she had been watching Ball’s famous 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy in preparation for filming, saying the comedian was “an amazing woman”.

“I’m very excited for people to see what Aaron found out about her and the way he’s interpreted Desi and Lucy and the way that it’s so rich. I didn’t know any of this.”

Lucille and Desi’s daughter Lucie Arnaz defended the decision to cast Kidman as the comedian in a video shared on Facebook in January.

“We are not doing a remake of I Love Lucy. No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo (Ball’s sitcom character) nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine or the chocolate factory routine or any of the silly things.”

She said the film will tell “the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband Desi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo.”