Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot partners JJ Abrams and Byran Burk have reportedly acquired the rights to make a movie chronicling the downfall of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. The movie will be based on an upcoming book from New York Times’ sports reporter Juliet Macur. It is believed the movie will chart the rise and fall of Armstrong – from his battle with cancer, through his record winning 7 Tour de France titles to his confession to Oprah Winfrey just this past week.
The Oprah Winfrey interview has renewed the public’s interest in Armstrong. For years, he denied that he had ever taken performance enhancing drugs, even going so far as to successfully sue countless newspaper who printed stories back in 2004 claiming he and his team were involved in illegal activities. The cyclist was recently stripped of his Tour de France titles and Olympic medal amid new investigations but had, up until last night furiously denied any wrong doing. Armstrong has now been banned for life.
Originally, Sony had been developing their own movie that would have seen Jake Gyllenhaal play the titular character. The story was supposed to be an inspirational tale of Armstrong’s recovery but the project was dropped amid the doping controversy. JJ Abrams does seem a strange choice when considering potential directors so it will be interesting to see what direction he takes. All eyes will now fall on who will play Armstrong.
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