Stephen Frears‘ untitled Lance Armstrong film is currently shooting on location in Europe with Dustin Hoffman set to come along for the ride once production moves to the U.S. for the final stages. Lee Pace (The Hobbit trilogy) has also boarded the movie. Hoffman and Pace are joining Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd, Guillaume Canet and Jesse Plemons in the film about disgraced Tour de France champion Armstrong. Foster plays the cyclist with O’Dowd as journalist David Walsh. Trance‘s John Hodge wrote the screenplay based on sportswriter Walsh’s book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit Of Lance Armstrong. The film charts Armstrong’s rise through the 1990s and early 2000s, his battle with cancer and his dominance of pro cycling. It also follows Walsh who was at first charmed by Armstrong, but ultimately became an integral figure in exposing the doping rife within the sport. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing as are Kate Solomon and longtime Frears collaborator Tracey Seaward — who most recently worked with the director on Philomena. Studiocanal is fully financing and will distribute in its own territories.
Related: Ben Foster To Play Lance Armstrong
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EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk’s Bad Robot are gearing up on their film about disgraced bike racer Lance Armstrong. I’m told that they are setting D.V. DeVincentis to write the script for a movie centering around the book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur. She’s the reporter who covered Armstrong for more than a decade at The New York Times. That period spanned his near-fatal bout with testicular cancer to his capturing glory with seven Tour de France titles. Those honors have been stripped after Armstrong finally copped to the swirl of rumors that he engaged in doping that upped his endurance and strength and made him unbeatable.
Paramount is in a three-bike race to make movies on Armstrong, and I’m not sure all three of these will happen, as compelling as the arrogant Armstrong’s downfall might be. Paramount was actually the first studio to declare it would make an Armstrong project, but since then, two other substantial film projects have cropped up. That includes the Studio Canal-funded, Working Title-produced pic that Stephen Frears is directing with Lone Survivor’s Ben Foster playing Armstrong and Chris O’Dowd playing journalist David Walsh, from a script by Trance‘s John Hodge. He adapted sportswriter Walsh’s book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit Of Lance Armstrong. That movie’s almost done shooting, and surely will be first to the screen. Read More »
Deadline told you exclusively in July that Stephen Frears would be directing Ben Foster in a movie about disgraced Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong for Working Title. Now, they’ve finally confirmed all this and that Studio Canal will fully fund the untitled project for an October 18 start date. Foster will be joined by Chris O’Dowd, who’ll play journalist David Walsh. Guillaume Canet and Breaking Bad‘s Jesse Plemons have key supporting roles. Trance‘s John Hodge wrote the screenplay based on sportswriter Walsh’s book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit Of Lance Armstrong. The film charts Armstrong’s rise through the 1990s and early 2000s, his battle with cancer and his dominance of pro cycling. It also follows Walsh who was at first charmed by Armstrong, but ultimately became an integral figure in exposing the doping rife within the sport.
Related: Ben Foster To Play Lance Armstrong
Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing as is longtime Frears collaborator Tracey Seaward — who most recently worked with the director on Philomena — and Kate Solomon (United 93, Green Zone). Working Title’s Liza Chasin and Amelia Granger will executive produce. Studiocanal is distributing in its own territories and will kick off international sales at the AFM.
They are in a race … Read More »
Sony Classics has unveiled a trailer for Oscar-winner Alex Gibney‘s The Armstrong Lie, about cyclist Lance Armstrong’s comeback from cancer and subsequent doping scandal. Gibney inserts his own unusual perspective into the docu by chronicling the fibs Armstrong told him as he interviewed the athlete pre-scandal, as well as Armstrong’s own explanation of his deceit after the truth came out. The film opens November 8 in NY and LA:
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros, Atlas Entertainment and director Jay Roach are making their move in the race to mount a feature on Lance Armstrong, the 7-time Tour de France champion who was defrocked and disgraced when he finally admitted he was doping. Bradley Cooper is in talks to come aboard as a producer, and he’s also looking to play one of the two major roles in Red Blooded American. One of those roles is Armstrong, and the other is Tyler Hamilton, the former Armstrong teammate who was part of Armstrong’s inner circle on the US Postal Service Team and who came forward and told what he saw Armstrong doing in a 60 Minutes segment. Hamilton was the recipient of blistering attacks from Armstrong for breaking what had been a closed circle. At the time, Armstrong had been accused of doping numerous times, but always had been steadfast in his denial.
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EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Stephen Frears‘ Lance Armstrong movie is further along than I thought. I’m told that Ben Foster is already in final talks to play Armstrong in the film, which was scripted by Trainspotting’s John Hodge and covers Armstrong’s career from his cancer ordeal to the scandal that brought him down. Always a good actor, Foster has a lot of momentum coming into what could be a careermaking role. He will next be seen in two films that premiered at Sundance, IFC’s Ain’t Them Body Saints and Sony Pictures Classics’ Kill Your Darlings. Foster, who last spring made his Broadway debut opposite Alec Baldwin in Orphans, stars opposite Mark Wahlberg in the Peter Berg-directed Navy SEAL saga Lone Survivor, which Universal releases December 27. The hope is to begin production on the Armstrong film this fall. He is repped by WME, Hodge by United Agents. Still no official comment from reps or Working Title.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 10:19 AM: Director Stephen Frears, in Hollywood promoting his HBO film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight at TCA, is moving fast on another fact-based movie based on an iconic athlete. I’m told that Frears and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner have teamed up on a feature film on the doping scandal that enveloped the Tour de France and led to the downfall of 7-time champion Lance Armstrong in the biggest doping scandal in the history of sports. I’m still trying to get all the details, but they are eyeing a start as soon as this fall on the movie. That makes Frears a surprise entry in a crowded field, and that doesn’t even factor in a Sony Pictures Classics deal this week to release the documentary The Armstrong Lie. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The doping scandal that enveloped the Tour de France and led to the downfall of 7-time champion Lance Armstrong is now the focus of movies being developed by two major studios. Warner Bros has just acquired an untitled project from Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Alex Gartner that will be scripted by Side Effects scribe Scott Z. Burns to be directed by Jay Roach. Roach, coming off the Emmy-winning HBO pics Game Change and Recount, will produce with Roven and Gartner. The package includes the life rights of Tyler Hamilton, the former professional bike racer who was in Armstrong’s inner circle on the US Postal Service Team.
A former Olympic gold medalist and NCAA champion, Hamilton was one of the first insiders to testify under oath and come forward publicly–on 60 Minutes—to break the code of silence. Michael Radutzky, an executive producer at CBS News and senior producer for 60 Minutes, is also in talks to produce. The studio is in talks to acquire confidential rights of other key individuals involved in the story, and all of this creates the tapestry to explore the biggest and most sophisticated doping scandal in the history of sports. Read More »
Best Actor Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper is in talks with J.J. Abrams about playing Lance Armstrong in the producer-director’s planned movie project about the disgraced cyclist, according to Entertainment Tonight. Shortly after Deadline broke the news about Abrams and partner Bryan Burk’s Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures securing screen rights to the proposed book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong, Cooper publicly expressed interest in the role to the BBC and later in an email to Abrams. Cooper “sent me an email and we’ve been talking”, Abrams told ET last night at the Producers Guild Awards. The project is based on the proposed book by New York Times writer Juliet Macur for HarperCollins.
But in Saturday Night Live‘s alternate universe it was Piers Morgan interviewing the not-particularly-contrite athlete plus talking to Manti Te’o concerning his girlfriend issues and to Jodie Foster about her Golden Globes speech.
At least this much of what Lance Armstrong says is true in part 2 of Oprah’s Next Chapter interview. Then she asks whether he owes an apology to David Walsh — the journalist who was villified and held up to public ridicule for his 13-year pursuit of the truth:
Given the wave of publicity, Oprah Winfrey‘s sit-down with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was expected to be a ratings monster and a game-changer for Winfrey’s OWN network. The first part of Winfrey’s interview, in which Armstrong admitted to doping, was big but not a record breaker. It averaged 3.2 million total viewers in its premiere telecast at 9 PM and another 1.1 million at 10:30 PM for a total of 4.3 million. The original telecast couldn’t top Winfrey’s newsmaking Oprah’s Next Chapter interview with Whitney Houston’s family, which garnered 3.5 million on March 11. The special’s premiere still ranked as the highest rated weekday telecast in OWN history across all key demos. Here are the stats:
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EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot partners JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk are going to make a movie about the epic rise and fall of doping bicyclist Lance Armstrong. They’ve just closed a deal for screen rights to Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong, a proposal for a book that will be written by Juliet Macur for HarperCollins.
Macur is a sports reporter for The New York Times, and she has covered Armstrong for over a decade, through the cyclist’s recovery from deadly cancer to his capturing seven Tour de France title. She has also covered the allegations of doping that Armstrong vehemently denied, before finally falling on his sword in a much publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey (since that two-part program will put Winfrey’s OWN on the map, I’m waiting to read the story on whether or not Armstrong got paid handsomely for his confession).
Related: Lance Armstrong Confesses To Oprah: Video
This is the first fresh new Hollywood feature I’ve heard of since Armstrong went from hero to zero, particularly because he protested his innocence so vociferously. Sony Pictures has long had an Armstrong feature project, but the studio dropped it awhile ago, when Armstrong began his descent from grace. This one had the biker’s pal Jake Gyllenhaal poised to star, and it was clearly meant to tell a heroic story of … Read More »
In the first clip from Oprah’s Next Chapter interview with the athlete, he answers simply “yes” to her questions about his use of different performance-enhancing substances and touches on his history, specifically when he began using banned substances:
In the clip that follows, Winfrey points out that for 13 years Armstrong “brazenly and defiantly denied everything you just admitted to … why now admit it”? Armstrong says “I don’t know that I have a great answer … I will start my answer by saying this is too late.” Read More »
Oprah Winfrey’s two-part interview with Lance Armstrong is close to selling out commercial time at premium prices, Reuters reports. OWN President Erik Logan said current and new sponsors have been calling to secure ad time during the Oprah’s Next Chapter interview that will air in primetime Thursday and Friday. Armstrong, who has been stripped of his Tour de France titles, admitted to Winfrey that he had used performance-enhancing drugs after years of vehement denials. The Armstrong interview was originally slated to air in a single showing but Winfrey subsequently decided there was enough material to spread across two nights. Some of the time for the Armstrong interview was pre-sold to regular advertisers of Oprah’s Next Chapter but the remaining slots ares going for a premium. Logan declined to provide specifics.
Related: AP: Lance Armstrong Admits To Doping In Interview With Oprah Winfrey
Los Angeles – Oprah Winfrey’s exclusive no-holds-barred interview with Lance Armstrong, “Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive,” has expanded to air as a two-night event on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The special episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will air Thursday, January 17 from 9-10:30 p.m. ET/PT (as previously announced) and Friday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The interview will be simultaneously streamed LIVE worldwide both nights on Oprah.com.
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Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey today in an interview that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, The Associated Press reports, citing a person familiar with the situation. The interview is scheduled to be broadcast on OWN‘s Oprah’s Next Chapter on Thursday. The person told the AP the interview was “emotional at times” and followed an apology to the staff at the Livestrong Foundation that left several staff members in tears. It was anticipated that Armstrong would use the interview to come clean on allegations that led to his being stripped of all seven Tour titles last year following the damning U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report — allegations he consistently denied. USADA chief executive Travis Tygart labeled the doping regimen allegedly carried out by the U.S. Postal Service team that Armstrong once led, “The most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” Shortly after the interview, Winfrey tweeted: “Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours . He came READY!” Winfrey is scheduled to appear on CBS This Morning tomorrow to discuss the interview.
Related: Coming Clean? Lance Armstrong Going On Oprah Next Week
Is Lance Armstrong pedaling a confession? The disgraced former seven-time Tour de France cycling champion will appear on OWN’s Oprah’s Next Chapter on January 17, the network announced today. This interview with Oprah Winfrey will be Armstrong’s first since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charged him with using illegal performance-enhancing drugs during a career that has made him one of America’s and the world’s most well-known athletes. The big question is whether Oprah will rip the skin off Armstrong the way she did author James Frey after he promoted his recovery memoir A Million Little Pieces, and then came back to be flayed when it was revealed he’d embellished big parts of the book. Read More »