Bradley Cooper's name was rumored to play Armstrong. A rival project also emerged from director Jay Roach (The Campaign) and writer Scott Z. Burns (Contagion). Both promising, but of course a film with Cooper attached is going to have a leg up, right? Turns out Abrams has just lost his one major advantage.
Deadline reports that Cooper has now boarded Roach's Lance Armstrong biopic, which is now titled Red Blooded American. He's set to produce and star in the film, but it's not confirmed which role he'll be taking. It will either be as Armstrong or as Tyler Hamilton, his former friend and colleague on the US Postal Service team who went on 60 Minutes and confirmed all of the doping allegations. As we learned before, the film has the rights to Hamilton's life, so it will probably be told from his perspective, meaning it may not be the most unbiased account. It could also mean that the Hamilton role may be more significant, so we'll just have to wait and see.
With Abrams' film and one being developed by Stephen Frears and Ben Foster, Warner Bros. has fast-tracked Red Blooded American to make sure it's the first out of the gate.