The movie market is soon going to be over-crowded with Lance Armstrong's cringe-worthy story. While we have mentioned that J.J. Abrams and his production company were involved with an Armstrong movie, now Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. reports that Stephen Frears, the man who directed The Queen, is working on yet another project about Armstrong, this one starring Ben Foster. That brings the grand total of non-documentary Armstrong movies in the works to three, with Warner Bros. also involved in a project set to be directed by Jay Roach. That's a lot of Armstrong.
Of course, there are many facets to Armstrong's story. Fleming points out that Warner Bros., for instance, has the life rights of doping whistleblower Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong's teammate. Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk's Bad Robot have with Paramount acquired the rights to New York Times reporter Juliet Macur's to-be-released book Cycle of Lies. It's not too clear where Frears' Armstrong story is coming from.
The strange thing about the case of the multiple Armstrong movies is that each project seems to be coming from a good team. Frears showed a flair with the recent past with The Queen and Warner Bros.' movie is going to be directed by Jay Roach of Game Change and Recount. Roach clearly understands how to make a story to which we know the ending compelling. Basically, it doesn't seem like we have Jobs situation on our hands. Abrams may have Bradley Cooper on board, which is pretty good casting.
Fleming points that all these movies may not eventually get made—in his words "make it to the start line"—but it could be an interesting, shall we say, race to watch. With news that Foster is in "final talks" it looks like Frears may have the head start.