Add yet another “Lance Armstrong doping scandal” movie to the list. Almost as soon as Armstrong copped to doping during his tenure as a 7-time champion of the Tour de France, Hollywood starting moving forward on feature film iterations of his story. Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot were the first studios to take action, as the two studios have teamed up to adapt the Juliet Macur book Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong. Warner Bros. is also developing its own version of the story with Jay Roach (Game Change) attached to direct from a script by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion), but now it appears that the first film to actually move forward may come from High Fidelity and The Queen director Stephen Frears and Working Title Pictures. Hit the jump for more.
[Update: Deadline has updated their story to note that Ben Foster is in final talks to play Lance Armstrong in the film, which has a script by Trainspotting scribe John Hodge and focuses on "Armstrong's career from his cancer ordeal to the scandal that brought him down."]
Per Deadline, Frears is teaming up with Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner on a film chronicling the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, and they have their eye on possibly starting production as soon as this fall. There doesn’t seem to have been any major movement on either Warner Bros. or Paramount’s film in recent months, so if Working Title can indeed get things together by this fall, Frears’ film may be the first to cross the finish line.
Frears is currently coming off of directing the HBO film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, but his last theatrically released film, 2012’s Lay the Favorite, drew scathing reviews. In addition to dramatic versions of Armstrong’s story, director Alex Gibney also has the documentary Lance Armstrong: The Road Back set to be released by Sony Pictures Classics sometime in the near future.