The race to get a Lance Armstrong film onto screens is heating up. With at least two competitors already pedalling through development, here comes Warner Bros. and director Jay Roach with a new arrival called Red Blooded American, which has snagged the services of Bradley Cooper.
“Hang on, though,” we hear you splutter, “didn’t he already appear to sign on to another Armstrong film that Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot company was working up?” Indeed, he reportedly had discussions about that movie, based on Juliet Macur’s book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong.
Still, it would seem that Roach and Warners have snagged Cooper’s services as producer and potential star of American, which chronicles not only Armstrong’s incredible Tour de France-winning run, but the story behind the doping scandal that brought him low. Cooper has not indicated whether he’ll play the main man or teammate-turned-whistle-blower Tyler Hamilton, assuming he gets in front of the camera at all. Scott Z. Burns is the man behind that movie’s script, and having Cooper aboard would definitely push it into pole position.
There’s strong competition from both Abrams and Stephen Frears, who is gearing up to put Ben Foster in a yellow jersey, working from a script by John Hodge that could be ready to shoot this autumn and may make it into cinemas first, especially since Cooper will be busy at the same time on Cameron Crowe’s next film. It's going to be a tight race, but let's hope the rival filmmakers resist the urge to juice their chances.