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Quick Takes: Lance Armstrong film in works

January 19, 2013

Well, that didn't take long. Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams are making a movie about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

The studio and Abrams' production company, Bad Robot, have secured the rights to author Juliet Macur's book proposal "Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong," to be published by HarperCollins. A release date for the book has not yet been set.

Macur, a sports reporter for the New York Times, has covered Armstrong for more than a decade as the cyclist has made news with his cancer battle, his continuous denial of doping and his admission to Oprah Winfrey that he used illegal performance-enhancement substances throughout his career.

Sony Pictures had an earlier Armstrong project in the works with Jake Gyllenhaal set to portray the athlete, back when the cyclist was a hero both in his cycling career and his bout with testicular cancer. But the studio abandoned the project in light of the allegations.

—Nicole Sperling

Deavere Smith wins Gish Prize

Anna Deavere Smith, famed for creating one-woman documentary theater pieces about taut social issues in which she portrays multiple people she's interviewed, has won the $300,000 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the most lucrative awards in the arts and literature.

The annual career-achievement award, initiated in 1994 when Los Angeles architect Frank Gehry was the first recipient, is for "an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's understanding and enjoyment of life."

It was created under the will of Lillian Gish, whose long career — including roles alongside her younger sister, Dorothy — began as one of Hollywood's first superstar actresses.

—Mike Boehm

Paul Dano as Brian Wilson

Paul Dano ("Ruby Sparks," "There Will Be Blood") has been tapped to play a young Brian Wilson in a new film titled "Love and Mercy."

The Beach Boys mastermind, now 70, has endorsed the project saying, "I am thrilled that Paul Dano has signed on to play me during one of my most creative explosions and most fulfilling times in my career."

Oren Moverman, who co-wrote and directed "The Messenger," wrote the script, which is said to take an unconventional look at seminal moments in Wilson's life.

—Nicole Sperling

Galliano gets a fashion invite

John Galliano has been invited to return to fashion for the first time since an anti-Semitic rant at a Paris cafe was captured on video.

Oscar de la Renta invited Galliano to spend time in his studio over the next three weeks, according to a statement released Friday by De la Renta's company.

Galliano was dismissed as creative director of Christian Dior and left his own label two years ago after his rant went viral. A French court also convicted him on two other complaints of anti-Semitic behavior.

In a statement, Galliano said he is an alcoholic and has been in recovery for two years.

De la Renta said he has known Galliano for years and is "a great admirer of his talent."

De le Renta also said that the designer "has worked long and hard on his recovery."

—Associated Press

Charity declines singer's offer

Great White singer Jack Russell's plan to donate proceeds from a Feb. 7 gig in Hermosa Beach to a memorial in Rhode Island to victims of a deadly fire that broke out during the L.A. heavy metal band's show there 10 years ago has been nixed by officials at the foundation Russell's show would have benefited.

Russell recently announced he would give money from his show to the Station Fire Memorial Foundation, which is attempting to raise $1 million to build a permanent memorial to commemorate 100 people who died in the Feb. 20, 2003, fire that also injured more than 200 others when pyrotechnics in Great White's stage show ignited flammable foam in the Station nightclub in West Warwick. Among those killed were Great White guitarist Ty Longley.

Foundation Vice President Victoria Egan said in a statement Friday that the foundation's request to Russell not to use the foundation's name in conjunction with his concert "is due to the resentment and animosity still felt by many of the families and survivors that our very organization represents. We feel that the upset caused by his involvement would outweigh the amount of funds raised at this event."

In a statement of his own, Russell said he would honor their request and donate the funds to another charity, saying, "I am utterly saddened by the response of the foundation and the motives behind it."

—Randy Lewis

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