Bradley Cooper Rumor: To Star as Lance Armstrong in J.J. Abrams-led Biopic?

Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013 08:38 AM

By Megan Anderle

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Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper and "Star Wars" director J.J. Abrams, two of Hollywood's biggest names at the moment, are reportedly in talks about a Lance Armstrong biopic.

Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot, which is Abrams’ production company, have already secured the rights to "Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong," by Juliet Macur, due out this summer, which followed from Armstrong publicly admitting to using banned drugs and blood doping during his seven Tour de France wins, according to TIME magazine.

Abrams told Entertainment Tonight at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday “[Cooper] sent me an email and we’ve been talking.”

The 38-year-old Cooper, who just received his first Oscar nomination for "Silver Linings Playbook," has already spoken about his interest in the topical subject matter.

"I would be interested," he told the BBC. "I think he’s fascinating. What a fascinating character."

However, Cooper maintains that he has not spoken to Abrams about the role. When asked about it at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, he gave an emphatic "no," according to the New York Daily News.

"Oh my god, that’s so nuts!” Cooper said. “I didn’t even know that J.J. has the rights, I had no idea. I don’t know anything about it.”

Cooper, People magazine's 2012 "Sexiest Man Alive," isn't the only one in the running for the coveted role. Matt Damon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender and Christian Bale have also been named in relation to the role, TIME reports.

Unlike the Armstrong biopic that was in the works at Sony for years before the scandal broke, “Cycle of Lies” will be anything but a feel good story about Armstrong’s triumph over cancer to win cycling’s greatest feat. Abrams’ film will instead chronicle Armstrong’s doping days and the downfall of the former Olympic champion.

The 41-year-old former cycling hero admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he used EPO, testosterone, and human growth hormones, despite years of ardent denial.

The admission came after he was banned from the sport in September by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, following a 200-page damning report in which 11 witnesses, mostly former teammates, testified against him. He was stripped of his titles as well as many of his endorsement deals.

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