TORONTO - A film about Lance Armstrong's cycling comeback, shot in 2009 but shelved when his doping denials began to unravel, had its own revival Monday, offering fresh perspective on his lies.
Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney was granted unprecedented access to Armstrong and his entourage for an entirely different sort of film, prior to the cyclist's fall from grace.
By the time the planned film was finished in 2010 it was "no longer relevant," Gibney said, in a turn of events that may have been fortuitous.
Taking a fresh look at the footage late last year, Gibney and producer Frank Marshall recognized that they had captured the incredible truth that had been "hiding in plain sight," he said.
"We realized that we had all of this stuff that we didn't know was so important then, but was now important," said Marshall.
The film, minus Matt Damon who narrated the original film but was cut in the rejig, premiered at the Toronto film festival.
After years of denials, Armstrong, a cancer survivor who won seven Tour de France titles, finally cracked in January 2013 and admitted to Oprah Winfrey in a television interview that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.
It was a devastating and public mea culpa for his fans and the cycling world, but his confession was also decried by critics for barely scratching the surface of one of the most shocking scandals in sports history.