The race to get a Lance Armstrong biopic going is more crowded than a group of bikers on a narrow mountain road in the Tour de France (I don’t actually know if there are narrow roads in the Tour de France, but I like the imagery). Stephen Frears is set to direct one starring Ben Foster, and now we hear from Deadline that Bradley Cooper has signed on to produce and probably star in “Red Blooded American,” an Armstrong biopic that Jay Roach will direct for Warner Brothers. Scott Z. Burns is writing the script.
Armstrong is, of course, the cancer survivor whose seven Tour de France victories provided inspiration to millions…until it was revealed that not only was he a habitual user of performance enhancing drugs, but also harassed and threatened anyone who might tell his secret (to be fair, a significant number of the riders on the professional bike racing circuit has been on or is using PEDs). Cooper could play either Armstrong, or Tyler Hamilton, one of Armstrong’s fellow US Postal Service team riders who was an Armstrong whistle-blowers. Either role could be great, though I’d find it hard to resist the fallen hero/villain that Armstrong has become.
This isn’t the first time Cooper has been linked to the Armstrong story. Last winter when it was announced that Paramount had bought the rights to “Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong,” a book by New York Times sportswriter Juliet Macur, word leaked out that J.J. Abrams, on behalf of his Bad Robot company, had contacted Cooper about being involved. Now Cooper is hooked up to theWB production, which is being fast-tracked like, well, like a cyclist who’s been blood-doping.
Cooper has David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” coming out in December and is set to film the “Untitled Cameron Crowe Project” in Hawaii this fall. He’s got “American Sniper” somewhere on his schedule, but that needs a new director after Steven Spielberg left the project. Then Cooper is trying to bring a production of “Elephant Man” to Broadway late in 2014. So I guess he’ll be getting on a bike sometime in 2014…