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With veteran writer Gary Ross ('Seabiscuit') signed on to pen the script, the Columbia Pictures film based on the life (and autobiography) of seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong is pacing towards a distant finish line. Seasoned producer Frank Marshall is said to be spearheading the project but has yet to cast the lead.

Among the A-list contenders being considered for the prize role are Jake Gyllenhaal, Matt Damon and Lance's real-life best buddy Matthew McConaughey. We've sifted through these and other likely candidates and come up with a list of five contenders we feel would best depict the cycling legend. With veteran writer Gary Ross ('Seabiscuit') signed on to pen the script, the Columbia Pictures film based on the life (and autobiography) of seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong is pacing towards a distant finish line. Seasoned producer Frank Marshall is said to be spearheading the project but has yet to cast the lead.

Among the A-list contenders being considered for the prize role are Jake Gyllenhaal, Matt Damon and Lance's real-life best buddy Matthew McConaughey. We've cycled through these and other candidates and come up with our top five contenders to take the bike-racing legend's story to the big screen. -- By Alicia Roda



Jake Gyllenhaal: The versatile actor has done his homework. Determined to one day be cast, the cycling enthusiast reportedly spent every waking moment of the summer of '06 researching Lance. Now that's some serious preparation. It's been a couple of years, but that skin-tight biking gear he's still sporting around town makes us think he hasn't given up all hope -- and neither have we.

Matt Damon: The Academy Award-winning actor is the front-runner in the race to Lance-dom. In December, MTV caught up with the biopic's rumored director Frank Marshall who named Damon a "candidate" and said, "If he wants to do it that would be great." With acting credits in critical and box office hits like 'The Departed' and the Bourne movies, we're pretty sure Damon would be a safe bet.

Matthew McConaughey: Years of partying, working out, and good old livin' alongside Lance, the romantic-comedy extraordinaire knows his buddy pretty well. Who better to play you on screen than your lady-lovin', no-shirt-wearin' best friend, right? If he does get the part, we wonder who would then be cast to play opposite him as, well, Matthew McConaughey.

Matthew McConaughey Photos

    ©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Actor Matthew McConaughey talks to some friends on the beach near his home. EXCLUSIVE June 10, 2009 Job: 90610M3 Malibu, California www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

    ANTHONY G/ bauergriffinonline.com

    ©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Actor Matthew McConaughey talks to some friends on the beach near his home. EXCLUSIVE June 10, 2009 Job: 90610M3 Malibu, California www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

    ANTHONY G/ bauergriffinonline.com

    ©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Actor Matthew McConaughey talks to some friends on the beach near his home. EXCLUSIVE June 10, 2009 Job: 90610M3 Malibu, California www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

    ANTHONY G/ bauergriffinonline.com

    ©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Matthew McConaughey looks deep in thought as he stares at his new home which is under construction in Malibu. EXCLUSIVE June 9, 2009 Job: 90609W9 Malibu, California www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

    ANTHONY G/bauergriffinonline.com

    ©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Matthew McConaughey looks deep in thought as he stares at his new home which is under construction in Malibu. EXCLUSIVE June 9, 2009 Job: 90609W9 Malibu, California www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

    ANTHONY G/bauergriffinonline.com

    ©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Matthew McConaughey looks deep in thought as he stares at his new home which is under construction in Malibu. EXCLUSIVE June 9, 2009 Job: 90609W9 Malibu, California www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

    ANTHONY G/bauergriffinonline.com

    ©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Matthew McConaughey looks deep in thought as he stares at his new home which is under construction in Malibu. EXCLUSIVE June 9, 2009 Job: 90609W9 Malibu, California www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

    ANTHONY G/bauergriffinonline.com

    ©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Matthew McConaughey looks deep in thought as he stares at his new home which is under construction in Malibu. EXCLUSIVE June 9, 2009 Job: 90609W9 Malibu, California www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com

    ANTHONY G/bauergriffinonline.com

    Matthew McConaughey sighting at his office on June 08, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Celebrity Sightings in Los Angeles - June 8, 2009 Los Angeles, CA United States June 8, 2009 Photo by Jason Mitchell/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic.com To license this image (57635503), contact FilmMagic.com

    Jason Mitchell/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic.com

    Matthew McConaughey sighting at his office on June 08, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Celebrity Sightings in Los Angeles - June 8, 2009 Los Angeles, CA United States June 8, 2009 Photo by Jason Mitchell/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic.com To license this image (57635497), contact FilmMagic.com

    Jason Mitchell/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic.com