Three Lance Armstrong Movies Racing to Theaters, One With Bradley Cooper
As cycling champion Lance Armstrong fell from grace amid his doping controversy, Hollywood was thinking one thing: this is a movie in the making.
Turns out, there will be three.
Bradley Cooper is in talks to board Warner Bros. and Atlas Entertainment’s Jay Roach-directed Red-Blooded American, a film about Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong’s long-time U.S. Postal Service teammate who famously revealed his now-disgraced cyclist’s drug use on 60 Minutes. Cooper may join as a producer and even a star, considering playing either Armstrong or Hamilton.
Ben Foster is said to be mounting the bike as Armstrong in a Working Title biopic helmed by two-time Academy Award nominee Stephen Frears (The Queen) and written by John Hodge (Trainspotting, Trance). The production is pedaling fast ahead, hoping to begin filming this fall.
And then there’s J.J. Abrams, along with his Bad Robots producing partner Bryan Burk, entering the fray with Paramount Pictures to bring author Juliet Macur’s Cycle of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong to the big screen. But the film is still without its Armstrong, after Cooper turned down Abrams’ offer for the role.
But as all three features race to theaters, another is ready roll for moviegoers. Alex Gibney’s documentary The Armstrong Lie will play at Toronto International Film Festival in September. The film was meant to be a look at Armstong’s career comeback, but shifted gears when the doping scandal led to the cyclist’s downfall last year.
As for which narrative film will cross the finish line first, it remains to be seen. While Working Title’s Foster-led film is expected to get underway come fall, Cooper — if he signs on with Warner Bros. officially — could end up pushing back production on Red-Blooded American as his fall schedule is booked for shooting Cameron Crowe’s next work. Abrams, meanwhile, has Star Wars: Episode VII, Missing: Impossible 5 and Star Trek 3 all coming down the pipeline, so the Paramount project may be on the back burner for now.