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Bradley Cooper to Star as Lance Armstrong for J.J. Abrams?

Bradley Cooper Lance Armstrong
Brian Bedder, Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It hasn’t taken long for the Lance Armstrong story to become the hottest new biopic in town. Shortly after the cyclist confessed to doping on Oprah, J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot snatched up the rights to an upcoming book about Armstrong. And everybody wants to be in the J.J. Abrams business right now.

Turns out a certain handsome, Oscar-nominated actor has aggressively thrown his hat into the ring to portray the embattled athlete: None other than Bradley Cooper. But how close is he to securing the part?

For the record, this match made in movie heaven is not a done deal, but it sure looks close. Last week, Cooper made his desire to fill Armstrong’s shoes known to the BBC in an interview in which he called the cyclist “fascinating.” But he’s not stopping there, as Entertainment Tonight discovered a couple of nights ago while speaking with Abrams at the Producer’s Guild Awards.

According to Abrams himself, Cooper has reached out about the Armstrong gig, telling ET Cooper “sent me an email and we’ve been talking.” What we wouldn’t give to read the entirety of that email exchange…

[UPDATE – Cooper spoke to Access Hollywood about the rumors, calling them “nuts,” adding, “I didn’t even know that J.J. [Abrams] has the rights. I had no idea.” For what it’s worth, Cooper also adamantly denied rumors he would be starring in ‘The A-Team’ but we know how that turned out…]

While it’s obviously not set in stone yet, it’s hard to imagine Abrams saying, “Nah, we can do better” to Cooper in this case; the two are at the top of their game in their respective fields, not to mention the fact that Cooper brings the necessary clout, and has just the right look, to play Armstrong. Besides, Cooper and Abrams aren’t strangers: Cooper co-starred in the Abrams-produced ‘Alias’ for two seasons, which helped solidify the actor’s place in the public eye at the same time it kick-started Abrams’ ascension to being one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers.

It still might be a little while before we hear something definitive on this front; the book hasn’t even been published yet (it supposedly hits shelves this summer) and these key players are a bit busy at the moment. Or haven’t you heard?

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