Warner Brothers is said to have snapped up the film rights to Tyler Hamilton’s life story, in a move that puts the studio in a race of its own with rival Paramount to be the first to put into cinemas a movie whose subject matter includes the shaming of Lance Armstrong.
As we reported in January, Paramount has partnered with production company Bad Robot to work on a film version of the forthcoming book Cycle of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong which is being written by sportswriter Juliet Macur of The New York Times.
Now, Deadline.com says that Warner Brothers, having acquired the rights from Atlas Entertainment, is making a film based on Hamilton's life story - although it has not, as we originally stated, bought the rights to the book The Secret Race that Hamilton co-wrote with the writer and journalist Daniel Coyle. The website adds that Jay Roach will direct the project.
His previous films include Meet The Parents and Meet The Fockers, as well as the Austin Powers trilogy, though we’re guessing that the film based on Hamilton's life story - much of which, of course, overlaps with that of his former US Postal team mate and then rival, Armstriong - will have rather more of a serious tone.
According to Deadline.com, Scott Z Burns has been brought on board as screenwriter. His credits as a writer include The Bourne Ultimatum, and he’s certainly keeping busy, having written the screenplays for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, due out next year, and a movie version of 1960s TV series, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Different Hollywood studios working on separate treatments of the same subject with near-identical release dates is nothing new, of course, as this article from the website 11 Points highlights, giving the examples of such as meteor disaster movies Deep Impact and Armageddon, animated features Antz and A Bug’s Life, and the Westerns, Tombstone and Wyatt Earp.
The difference with the movies based on Hamilton's story and Cycle of Lies, of course, is that they are both based on recent, factual events with which much of the audience will be familiar, whether that be the aspects relating to racing itself, or the lifting of the veil over doping that has happened more recently.
Meanwhile, Armstrong makes the cover of the latest issue of the magazine Texas Monthly in an interview that covers a lot of ground that will be familiar to anyone following the saga in recent months, but which also lifts the lid on issues such as his not being universally popular in his home city of Austin, even before his carefully constructed façade began to crumble last year.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.