Seven wins in the Tour de France. A well-publicized fight against cancer. A reputation that, from the 1990s through the 2000s, made his name all but synonymous with competitive cycling itself. Doping.
Now, we can bookend the career of Lance Armstrong with a biopic — and with highlights like all of the above, it’s not like you didn’t see it coming.
From director Stephen Frears, also known for films about other polarizing, controversial public figures — namely Queen Elizabeth II — comes The Program, a film about the meteoric rise and maddening plummet from grace of Lance Armstrong, as well as what prompted it. Playing the lead role is Ben Foster, known for films like 2013’s Kill Your Darlings, and his portrayal is near-uncanny in how it captures Armstrong.
In a subdued way, Foster appears to capture what made Armstrong such an icon to not just the cycling world, but through his story, much of the world at large. And with the disarming charm for which Armstrong became known, he also manages to convey exactly what made the charges against him so hard to believe — at least at first, anyway.
The film opens in Germany — hence the German language trailer — on October 8, before opening internationally.