Just one day after cyclist Lance Armstrong officially came clean with Oprah Winfrey about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, Paramount Pictures announced that they were working on a Lance Armstrong biopic. J.J. Abrams will produce the film with Bryan Burk through their Bad Robot banner, making it one of the few Bad Robot movies to fall outside the realm of science-fiction (Morning Glory being one of the only others to date). What once might have been the uplifting story of an American hero who triumphed over cancer has now morphed into the story of a disgraced athlete who tried to cover up his wrongdoing. But does this actually make for an interesting movie or is it just another example of Hollywood capitalizing on the hot topic du jour?
According to Deadline, Paramount and Bad Robot have acquired the screen rights to the upcoming book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur. The subject matter clearly seems to be of interest to Americans; 3.2 million viewers tuned in to Oprah’s Next Chapter to see Armstrong’s confession last Thursday. For the most part, Oprah played softball, serving up simple yes or no questions for Armstrong to answer with as little effort as possible.
Interestingly, before the accusations first surfaced, Sony had a Lance Armstrong biopic of their own in development with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star. It seems unlikely that they would resurrect their project at this point, but you never know — competing biopics seem to be a frequent occurrence in Hollywood. I have to admit, I’d be interested in this movie if it chose to delve into the motives and ethics behind doping in sports (not unlike the documentary Bigger Stronger Faster*), however, something tells me this will not be the case. What do you think… would you be interested in a Lance Armstrong biopic?