When Lance Armstrong was found to have perpetrated one of the biggest ‘doping’ scandals in the history of professional cycling in 2013, it seemed as though the phrase ‘How the mighty have fallen’ could have been coined just for him. Revered as one of the greatest sportsmen of his generation, Armstrong had survived cancer and gone on to, seemingly, become a world champion several times over. However, while millions worshipped him as a hero, Irish sports journalist David Walsh remained suspicious, and that is the story told in The Program.
Based on the book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit Of Lance Armstrong, by Walsh – which was published in 2012 and adapted by Academy Award nominee John Hodge (Trainspotting) – The Program details the 13 years spent by the journalist trying to expose the reality behind Armstrong’s phenomenal ascent to the top of the sport of international cycling, including seven Tour de France victories. Starring Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) as Armstrong, and Chris O’Dowd (Calvary) as Walsh, the supporting cast for the film boasts Guillaume Canet (Last Night), Jesse Plemons (Fargo), and double Academy Award winner, Dustin Hoffman.
The adaptation is directed by Academy Award nominee Stephen Frears (Philomena), and has taken some time to reach the point where we can finally see a trailer. Cameras began rolling on the project in October 2013 and, as of June 2015, there are no U.S or U.K release dates set. France will see the film arrive in theatres on September 23rd 2015, and it will open in Germany on October 8th.
The apparent distribution issues facing The Program seem all the more surprising now we have the first trailer – since it seems to be a well-made, hard-hitting drama. In particular, this preview gives a glimpse of what may be a career-defining performance from Ben Foster, as the controversial cycling figure. Of course, the film will face its real test when it unspools before a general audience later in the year – at which point a positive result will hopefully be even more appropriate.
Source: The Playlist