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Duo nabs rights to U.S. cyclist’s story

Greenspan, Pressman take lead with Armstrong docu

Bud Greenspan’s Cappy Prods. and the Edward R. Pressman Film Corp. have acquired the worldwide motion picture rights to the life story of American cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Pressman will produce and Greenspan — who has filmed every Olympics since 1984 — will write and direct the story of the world champion cyclist who was diagnosed with testicular cancer following a disappointing finish at the 1996 Olympic Games. After a year of intensive treatment for the cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain, Armstrong, now 27, was given a 30 percent chance of survival.

Despite the grim forecast, Armstrong returned to the racing circuit in 1998, finishing fourth in the road race world championships. His comeback has hit high gear in the past couple of weeks, as he’s held the lead through the early stages of the Tour de France.

According to Greenspan, the pic will not be a docu, though it is still unclear whether it will be released as a feature or debut on the small screen. Greenspan plans to shoot footage of next year’s Tour de France, which will be incorporated into the pic.

Running partnership

The beat-the-odds tale marks Greenspan and Pressman’s second collaboration. The two previously worked together on the docudrama “Endurance” for which Greenspan shot footage of Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie winning the gold medal in the 10,000-meter race at the 1996 Olympic Games.

A veteran sports director, Greenspan has received eight Emmys, the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Peabody Lifetime Achievement Award for his work, which includes the telepic “Wilma,” based on the life of Olympic track champ Wilma Rudolph, and “Lillehammer ’94: 16 Days of Glory.”

Pressman has produced more than 50 films during his career, including the Oscar-winning “Reversal of Fortune,” “Wall Street” and “City Hall.” Upcoming projects include “American Psycho,” the bigscreen adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, and “The Crow: Salvation,” for Dimension Films.

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