Filmmaker Alex Gibney’s Lance Armstrong documentary isn’t exactly going to be the comeback story the cyclist first imagined.
Produced by Sony Pictures and now set to come out later this year from Sony Pictures Classics, Gibney’s film will be called “The Armstrong Lie,” Sony said Wednesday.
"We set out to make a movie about a comeback — with unlimited and unprecedented access to Armstrong and the inner workings of the Tour de France. Along the way, we ended up chronicling the collapse of one of the greatest myths and legends of our time,” producers Matt Tolmach and Frank Marshall said in a statement.
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Sony and Armstrong have a long relationship. For years, the studio developed a movie based on the cyclist's 2000 memoir, "It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life," which chronicled Armstrong's recovery from metastasized testicular cancer to his first Tour de France victory in 1999.
In 2009, Sony shifted gears, saying it would finance a documentary about the cyclist’s return from retirement, following him as he competed in that year’s Tour de France. Armstrong finished third, with worse news around the corner.
Last year, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charged Armstrong with using performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong was banned from the sport and stripped of his seven Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005.
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In the middle of production on the documentary, Gibney (whose most recent film is “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks”) made a prophetic comment about how Armstrong, who tried to destroy people who accused him of cheating, protected his image.
"Maybe the most daunting part of telling this story is that Lance is so very good at telling his own story," Gibney said at the time. "There are levels within levels. He's a masterful producer-director of his own myth."