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I hope you're not tired of hearing about Tour De France phenom turned disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, because he is the center of a slate of projects of late. Currently in production on location in Europe is an untitled biopic about the polarizing sports star, which is being helmed by two-time Academy Award nominated director Stephen Frears (The Grifters, The Queen). Deadline reports that American screen legend Dustin Hoffman will be joining the tail-end of the shoot, though his role is being withheld.
Frear's Untitled Armstrong film is based on the journalist David Walsh's book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit Of Lance Armstrong. Adapted by regular Danny Boyle contributor John Hodge (Trainspotting, The Beach, Trance), this film will focus not solely on Armstrong, but also on how Walsh's perception of him shifted over years of coverage and increasingly shocking revelations. Ben Foster, who will soon be seen in another drama based on real events Lone Survivor, is leading the cast as Armstrong. Perhaps to get an edge over the competition, Frears has already released a first look of Foster all geared up:
Co-starring opposite Foster in the role of Walsh is Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, whose best known for his comedic turns on the Britcom The IT Crowd and the bawdy box office sensation Bridesmaids. However, O'Dowd is not new to drama. Just last year he starred in the inspiring biopic The Sapphires, which focused on a girl group made up of Australian Aboriginals, and led by a boorish but good-hearted manager. Still, with many still furious over Armstrong's doping and bad sportsmanship, this drama is more likely to draw major notice than that darling pic did.
Also on board are Breaking Bad's Jesse Plemons and French director-actor Guillaume Canet as fellow cyclists, as well as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug's Lee Pace, whose role--like Hoffman's--has not yet been revealed. With production underway, it's likely this Working Title-produced Armstrong-centered drama could hit next year. But as I teased up top, this is not the only Armstrong biopic brewing.
Paramount was the first studio to announce an Armstrong project, teaming up with J.J. Abram's Bad Robot to adapt the book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur who followed the sport star for a decade as a reporter at The New York Times. But they aren't nearly as far along as Working Title and Frears. Earlier this week, they at long last landed a screenwriter for the project in D.V. DeVincentis, who has previously penned High Fidelity and Lay The Favorite. (Both Frears pics, funny enough.)
Then there's the pairing of Warner Bros and director Jay Roach, who are developing the Armstrong story Red Blooded American. This one is said to focus on Armstrong and his former teammate turned informant Tyler Hamilton, who famously went on 60 Minutes to share his story. Last August, Bradley Cooper was attached to the pic, but little headway seems to have been made since then.
Then of course there's the Alex Gibney documentary The Armstrong Lie, which came out earlier this year. It's currently on the Oscar short list in the doc category.
Of all these Armstrong movies, which has you most interested?