JJ Abrams to make film about Lance Armstrong

Director teams with Paramount Pictures to secure rights to disgraced cyclist's story

JJ Abrams has secured the rights to the story of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

The director’s company Bar Robot, which he co-owns with Paramount Studios, have bought up the rights to Juliet Macur’s book proposal Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong, which is being published by HarperCollins.

A release date for the book has not yet been set.

Macur is a sports reporter for the New York Times and has covered Armstrong for more than a decade, from his cycling exploits and cancer battle to his denial of and recent admission to doping.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday night, the cyclist, who won seven consecutive Tour De France titles, confessed to using illegal performing enhancement substances throughout his career. He won seven consecutive Tour De France titles, but was stripped of all honours and banned from cycling for life after the US Anti-Doping Agency ruled he’d taken the drugs.

It was reported Sony Pictures had an earlier Armstrong project in the works with Jake Gyllenhaal in the frame to play the athlete, although this was mooted prior to recent revelations and Armstrong was viewed in a positive light. The studio subsequently abandoned the project in light of the allegations.

Abrams’ work can next be seen on screen when Star Trek Into Darkness is released in May.

Benedict Cumberbatch joins the cast for the sci-fi sequel, playing a villain known as John Harrison, although in a recent interview Abrams added fuel to speculation the character will have another, more famous identity.