According to Variety magazine, “The Program,” the much-anticipated Lance Armstrong film starring Ben Foster as the discredited cyclist, was expected to be one of the high-profile titles to sell to a U.S. distributor at the Cannes Film Festival.

A clip of the film screened for the first time to buyers during the festival. According to Ramin Setoodeh of Variety, “In the footage, Foster made for an uncanny Armstrong, capturing the athlete’s appearance and mannerisms so perfectly, it was like watching a documentary.”

The film has been completed, and a number of distributors are said to have expressed interest in the project, sources have told Variety. That will likely mean a 2015 release date in the United States, which would allow for “The Program” to be a 2016 Oscars season contender.

The drama is directed by Stephen Frears, who helped Helen Mirren win the Academy Award in 2007 for “The Queen.” Chris O’Dowd plays David Walsh, the Irish sports journalist who was instrumental in exposing Armstrong for drug abuse.

The footage of “The Program” was screened at an event hosted by Studiocanal, the prominent European TV and film studio.


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