1st picture: Ben Foster’s Lance Armstrong biopic takes lead in Hollywood’s Tour De Lance

Courtesy of StudioCanal (via Empire), here’s the first picture of Ben Foster on the set of Stephen Frears‘ Lance Armstrong biopic, which went into production before it could even decide on a title (perhaps in order to beat competing projects from Jay Roach – with Brad Cooper attached – and JJ Abrams). But look how much the actor looks like the guy he’s playing! He’s even mastered the mouth thing! My God, if an actor looking just like the person he’s supposed to be playing isn’t a recipe for success, I don’t know what is.

Chris O’Dowd plays Irish sports journalist David Walsh, who raised questions about Armstrong’s performance long before the rest of the world began to follow suit. Jesse “Meth Damon” Plemons, of Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad fame, and Guillaume Canet will also appear; if we were guessing (and we are), we’d speculate that Plemons will be one of Armstrong’s US Postal Service teammates and Canet a French rival. But that’s blatant national stereotyping as their roles remain to be confirmed.

John Hodge, best known for his work with Danny Boyle, wrote the screenplay, and shooting should continue for the next few months into the early spring. [Empire]

With all these Lance Armstrong biopics racing into production, I think it’d be a really uplifting story if the one with cancer ended up winning.

Seriously though, can Hollywood stop it with the stupid biopics already? Alex Gibney already made a Lance Armstrong documentary (The Armstrong Lie, three clips of which are below). Why would I want to watch some actor play dress up in a story that takes all the nuance of reality and squeezes it into the hoary Hollywood biopic piping bag when I can watch a skilled documentarian explore what actually happened? Does it really benefit from being fictionalized? It’s a story about a cyclist who lied, not some swashbuckling pirate epic.

[Clips via TheFilmStage]