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Director Stephen Frears on the red carpet for his movie Philomena.

Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

British director Stephen Frears says he's getting ready to make a feature film about disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong.

Frears, who is promoting his latest film Philomena at the Toronto International Film Festival, says he's drawn to making films based on real life events.

He says shooting on the Armstrong film begins in six weeks and actor Ben Foster has been tapped to play the lead.

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"It's the most gobsmacking story," said Frears when asked why he wants to make a film about the American athlete.

"Something draws you to a subject, you lift up a stone and discover a whole world that you had no idea about."

After more than a decade of denials, Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey in a January interview that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times, titles that have now been stripped away. He has been banned from cycling for life.

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