It appears this year just won’t end without Bradley Cooper getting himself invested in a movie about Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal. Way back in January, he was denying rumors of involvement with the Bad Robot/Paramount Pictures project covering the 7-time Tour de France winner’s troubles. Now, according to Deadline, Cooper is joining the Warner Bros./Atlas Entertainment biopic Red Blooded American as a producer, but there’s a very good chance he will also take a starring role.
While it seems obvious that Cooper would play Armstrong himself, this isn’t necessarily the case. Warner also paid for the life rights to Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service teammate. Hamilton was the initial whistleblower who revealed Armstrong’s illegal actions to 60 Minutes, and took quite a verbal lashing from Armstrong after the fact for breaking trust. Despite being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs several times in the past, nothing was ever proven until Hamilton let it all loose. And though the film is essentially about the racing champion, this secondary role could be a meaty one for Cooper to take. It’s almost to the point where I forgot what the actor is like in a secondary role. And that’s including last year’s Hit and Run, since I forget that movie exists whenever possible.
Red Blooded American will be directed by Jay Roach, best known for comedies such as The Campaign and the Austin Powers series, but has shown his dramatic chops in the HBO films Recount and Game Change both of which were based on true events. The screenplay was written by Scott Z. Burns, best known for his scripts for the Steven Soderbergh films Side Effects and Contagion. Joining Roach, Cooper and Atlas on the production side of things will be Michael Radutzky, an executive producer for CBS News and a senior producer on 60 Minutes. He was involved in Hamilton’s televised confession.
This project already sounds like its miles ahead of Paramount’s Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong adaptation, as well as the Stephen Frears project that hasn’t had a lot of publicity yet beyond landing Ben Foster in the Armstrong role.
Cooper will next be seen reteaming with director David O. Russell in another true life drama, American Hustle, and in Susanne Bier’s depression-era drama Serena. He’s on board to star in Cameron Crowe’s untitled next project, as well as American Sniper, but since Spielberg dropped out of that one, it isn’t clear when or if that project will continue.
The goal here is to get Red Blooded American fast tracked into production, and will probably go into production before any of Cooper’s next projects, which also includes a planned Broadway run in The Elephant Man.
You can watch both Hamilton’s interview and part of Armstrong’s Oprah appearance below.