August 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM
The Lance Armstrong movie race
Early this year, cyclist Lance Armstrong finally admitted that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career, despite repeatedly claiming in the past that he hadn’t. The news was well-timed for documentarian Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”), who happened to be in the midst of a film about Armstrong; that film, “The Armstrong Lie,” will have its world premiere next month at the Toronto Film Festival and has already been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for nationwide release, probably later this year. But it’s not the only Armstrong film in the works: Deadline.com reports today that three different Armstrong-themed feature films are racing to the starting line. Bradley Cooper is in talks to join “Red Blooded American” as a producer and possible star (though it’s not clear if he’d play Armstrong or teammate Tyler Hamilton), with Jay Roach (“Game Change,” “The Campaign”) directing. Elsewhere, British filmmaker Stephen Frears (“Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Queen”) is developing an as-yet-entitled Armstrong film, scripted by John Hodge (“Trainspotting”) and starring Ben Foster as the cyclist, and another Armstrong project exists at Paramount, where J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk have acquired the rights to New York Times reporter Juliet Macur’s upcoming book “Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong.” It remains to be seen which, if any, of these three projects will see the light of multiplexes, but it’s undeniable that each of them has a fascinating — and very cinematic — story to tell.