Apparently, the only thing more fascinating than an icon is a fallen icon. Such is the case of former champion cyclist Lance Armstrong – once a near-universally celebrated sports figure, Armstrong currently elicits little but popular scorn and contempt.
Naturally, this fall from grace has attracted the attention of filmmakers eager to capitalize on its inherent drama. The latest Armstrong-related project also appears to be the furthest-along in pre-production – a full biopic directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) and starring Ben Foster (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints).
Deadline has shared the scoop that Frears and Foster will collaborate on a currently unnamed biopic film about the rise and fall of Lance Armstrong. Working from a script by John Hodge (Trance), the movie will apparently focus on the period between Armstrong’s bout with testicular cancer and the doping scandal that stripped him of his championship titles.
Frears’ project has nothing to do with the J.J. Abrams-produced adaptation of Cycle of Lies, a book by sportswriter Juliet Macur that chronicles the ins and outs of the controversies that led to Armstrong's fall from grace. Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) has been rumored to be attached star in to that particular project, but little has been heard about it in recent months.
In addition to Cycle of Lies, Frears’ Armstrong film joins several other projects about the disgraced racer. This includes a documentary titled The Armstrong Lie and another unnamed biopic by director Jay Roach (Game Change). Will Frears beat all of these movies to the punch – and if so, will his version of the story be the definitive one?
Foster is certainly a strong choice to play Armstrong, both in physical appearance and in acting ability. Continually referred to as an actor just about to break into the A-list, Foster has consistently proved himself a sharp element in otherwise-mediocre (or downright terrible) films such as The Punisher, Pandorum, and The Mechanic. Even if this unnamed Armstrong movie has to jostle for position among others of the same subject, here’s to hoping that Ben Foster can use it as a springboard to better industry consideration.
Frears’ unnamed Armstrong biopic does not have a firm release date. Check back with Screen Rant as more details emerge.