Monday, October 22, 2012

Biopics on the Living: Lance Armstrong

Today, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and is banned for life from the International Cycling Union.

It has been nothing but highs and lows for Armstrong and the story keeps on playing out.

For the past six years I've done a handful of post on the possibility of a Lance Armstrong biopic, so much has changed since that first post in 2006 about Jake Gyllenhaal wanting to play Armstrong in a biopic. In 2009 I did a similar post, about Gyllenhaal's continued interest, but other names being thrown around as well.

And yet, this leads to the complexity of contemporary biopics...the stories are sometimes to fresh to know the full narrative. While I think Armstrong's story offers a compelling narrative, unless it plans to have an pre-2012 ending, in my mind, the story is still playing out.

Frankly, I can't imagine a successful Lance Armstrong film at this point in the story.

I consider the genre of documentary to be more flexible, with the possibility of attacking contemporary issues  with a meaningful narrative and the potential to look at issues from various angles. Feature films have less flexibility.

In that vein, Oscar winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney's working on a documentary On The Road which is apparently near completion, with a final edit following today's announcement. Now this is a film that I believe could gain some traction, sure were talking a different arena, but I'm not holding my breathe for a "Jake Gyllenhaal is Lance Armstrong" post. Instead, I've got my eye on Gibney's film for now.

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