Hollywood loves biopics, even if audiences don’t, so much so that there are currently THREE Lance Armstrong projects in development, plus an Alex Gibney documentary from Sony Pictures Classic. One of the three non-docs has even cast a lead, Ben Foster, who’ll play Armstrong in a film from High Fidelity director Stephen Frears. They’re trying to start shooting the currently untitled film by the fall. Guys, do me a favor, in the meantime, no one tell Ashton Kutcher about the other projects.
There are two other dramatic projects on Armstrong [besides the aforementioned Frears one] at studios which seemed to have gotten a good head start on Frears. Warner Bros has been working on an untitled project from Atlas Entertainment scripted by Side Effects writer Scott Z. Burns to be directed by Jay Roach, the helmer of celebrated fact-based films Game Change and Recount. The package includes the life rights of Tyler Hamilton, the Olympic gold medalist, NCAA champion and Armstrong teammate on the US Postal Service Team who was menaced by Armstrong after he took to 60 Minutes to break the code of silence. Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot partners JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk are working on a movie about the disgraced bicycle racer, based on the HarperCollins book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong by New York Times sportwriter Juliet Macur. Not sure how far this one has gotten, but there were rumors that Abrams has discussed the project with Bradley Cooper, who might play Armstrong.
Let’s see… one based on a book written by a former teammate who hates Lance Armstrong, and the other called “Cycle of Lies.” Gee, I wonder what aspects of the story those will focus on…
I’ve never quite understood all the interest in the Lance Armstrong story and the backlash. He cheated in a sport where everyone was cheating, and he did it better than everyone else so he won. Am I missing anything? It seems like people in the media greatly overestimated how much the public would actually care about A. cycling and B. performance enhancing drugs. Speaking for myself, I’m not going to care about cycling unless every rider is on a dangerous cocktail of HGH, PCP, and a number of experimental psychadelics. “Excite Bike,” they could call it.
As for Ben Foster, hey, it sounds fine. He’s good in basically everything he does. Still, I would’ve been interested to see Daniel Day-Lewis in the role, if only to watch him go full method and have a testicle removed.
[pictures via Getty - Mandal Ngan and Ilya S. Savenok]