What could’ve been the former has tragically ended up as the latter as the life of former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong is headed for the big screen via Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, which have acquired the adaptation rights to Juliet Marcur’s upcoming biography, “Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong.”
Marcur is a longtime sports writer for The New York Times who had been chronicling Armstrong’s career for the past several years, from his remarkable recovery from cancer to his astounding seven consecutive Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005. His personal and professional life recently took a tragic turn when he was disqualified from all his cycling results since August 1998 for using and distributing performance-enhancing drugs, which Armstrong admitted to during a television interview this month after years of vehemently denying the allegations. Armstrong has also been banned from professional cycling for life.
This isn’t the first time a Lance Armstrong biopic has been in development, though it certainly marks the first that will focus on his fall from grace. A few years ago, producer Frank Marshall and “The Hunger Games” director Gary Ross were working on an Armstrong project, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star; though the rumors of the athlete’s drug use were in full swing by then, the film would’ve focused on the early years of his career, from his start as a competitive swimmer to becoming a professional triathlete at age 16 to joining the Motorola Cycling Team at age 21.
“Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong” will be published by HarperCollins in June, shortly after Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” hits theaters on May 17. Abrams and Bad Robot’s Bryan Burk will produce the screen adaptation, though no director, writer or star is currently attached.