Paramount and J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot production company jumped on the Lance Armstrong scandal movie bandwagon first in January when they bought the rights to “Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong,” the yet-to-be-published book on the subject by New York Times sports reporter Juliet Macur. Now Warner Brothers has jumped into the fray, with a report from Deadline that Jay Roach will direct an Armstrong movie from a script to be written by Scott Z. Burns.
Armstrong, of course, came back from life threatening testicular cancer to win the Tour De France seven times. Dogged by rumors of drug use for years, though, he finally came clean earlier this year and admitted that his amazing run was fueled by illegal performance enhancers.
WB has obtained the right to the life story of Tyler Hamilton, a fellow cyclist and member of the Armstrong team who was one of the first to testify about Armstrong’s PED use despite his denials. WB and Burns are supposedly seeking rights from other figures involved in the Armstrong case, in order to build a story from a variety of primary sources (not that Macur’s book is some thrown together pastiche; she’s been covering Armstrong for more than a decade, since he first was in the news because of his cancer battle).
No word on when this will happen. Bradley Cooper was supposedly lobbying Abrams (who seems unlikely to direct but will produce the Paramount movie) to play Armstrong. Jake Gyllenhaal was attached to an Armstrong biopic back when Armstrong was a hero; he’d be smart to jump on one now, when the character has gotten even more interesting.