StudioCanal and Working Title Films reunite for the untitled ‘Cycling Project’ directed by Stephen Frears.

Principal photography on Stephen Frears’ untitled Cycling Project, which will chart the rise of former pro-cyclist Lance Armstrong, is to begin on Friday [Oct 18] and will shoot on location in France in the UK.

It will mark the fourth partnership between StudioCanal and Working Title Films after Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I Give It A Year and The Two Faces Of January, of which the latter - a thriller from Hossein Amini starring Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac - is currently in post production.

StudioCanal will fully finance, distribute in its territories, and handle international sales, which will start in AFM.

The cast is led by Ben Foster (Kill Your Darlings, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) as Lance Armstrong, and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) as journalist David Walsh, with Guillaume Canet (Tell No One) and Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) in key supporting roles.

The film charts the rise of pro-cyclist Armstrong through the 1990s and early 2000s, battling cancer, as he and his fellow US teammates dominate and change the quintessentially European sport of cycling.

Winning the Tour de France an unprecedented seven times, Lance retires as a sporting hero worth millions of dollars. David Walsh, sports writer, is at first charmed by Lance’s charisma and talent.  Seven Tours later, and ostracised by the cycling community for speaking out, he believes the world is being sold a lie. A lone voice, it is several years before Lance is exposed.

Based on the book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by Sunday Times journalist and chief sports writer David Walsh, the film is written by John Hodge, who wrote the screenplay for Trainspotting, The Beach and most recently Trance.

It is produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title, Tracey Seaward (Philomena) in her sixth collaboration with Frears, and Kate Solomon (United 93, Green Zone).

Working Title’s Liza Chasin and Amelia Granger will executive produce.

The creative team includes production designer Alan Macdonald, director of photography Danny Cohen, costume designer Jane Petrie and editor Valario Bonelli.

The film marks Stephen Frears and Working Title’s fifth feature film collaboration. Bevan and Frears first worked together on My Beautiful Laundrette, the Academy Award nominated film that launched both their film careers in 1985 and followed this up with Sammy And Rosie Get Laid in 1987. Bevan and Fellner produced Frears’ Hi Lo Country in 1998 and most recently High Fidelity in 2000.

Frears, who also directed Oscar-winning The Queen, most recently made Philomena, which stars Steve Coogan as real life political journalist Martin Sixsmith opposite Dame Judi Dench as Philomena Lee and is set for release on Nov 1 in the UK.