British director Stephen Frears linked to Lance Armstrong movie
With four documentaries and biopics in the offing, who will get to the screen first?
Hot on the heels of news about Alex Gibney’s Lance Armstrong documentary ‘The Armstrong Lie’ comes word that top British director Stephen Frears has been linked to a biopic on the life of the disgraced Tour de France star.
According to deadline.com, actor Ben Foster is in the frame to play Armstrong, to whom he bears a passing resemblance.
Frears is known for a string of critically-acclaimed movies including 2006’s The Queen, and 2000’s High Fidelity. Foster, on the other hand, isn’t quite an unknown, but his highest-profile role to date was as Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand. If we were feeling uncharitable we might say that going from playing a mutant to a drug-fuelled athlete wasn’t a terribly big step.
If everything goes according to plan, the Armstrong movie will start production in the autumn, with a script by John Hodges, who wrote the screenplay for Trainspotting. It will cover Armstrong’s career from his fight with cancer to the drug scandal that led to his downfall.
If all of the Armstrong movies currently in development come to fruition we’ll see something of a glut over the next couple of years, but it’s worth remembering that we’re talking Hollywood here and none of them might actually happen.
As well as the Frears biopic and Gibney’s documentary, two other movies abut Armstrong are in the works.
Warner Brothers has the ‘life rights’ of Tyler Hamilton as part of an Armstrong project. Hamilton’s positive tests, eventual confession of doping and subsequent book ‘The Secret Race’ helped take the lid off the culture of doping in cycling in the early 2000s and at the US Postal cycling team, where he was a team-mate of Armstrong’s. Jay Roach, director of the Austin Powers films, is tipped to helm that one.
Meanwhile director JJ Abrams (Lost, Star Trek) is also working on an Armstrong movie based on the book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong by New York Times sportswriter Juliet Macur. Abrams is rumoured to spoken to actor Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) about taking on the Armstrong role.