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Distributor plays down Hamilton role in IMAX movie

By Carlton Reid,

The possible fallout from a positive drug test includes a court battle, fines, suspension, loss of career and - for Tyler Hamilton - being 'edited out' of a movie you were supposed to star in. Hamilton's central role in Brain Power, an IMAX film which should have premiered late last year, has been much reduced.

Brain Power is to be distributed by nWave Pictures of New York. In an nWave press release from July 7, 2003, the film is said to explore "the extraordinary processes of the human brain by following world-class, professional cyclist, Tyler Hamilton as he trains and participates in the Tour de France." At a screening of rushes of the film at Cycle 2004 in London in September, Hamilton was featured as the only protagonist.

Fast forward to February 24 and Hamilton is not mentioned in an nWave press release. Instead, Brain Power becomes the "dramatic story of pro-cyclists dealing with the stresses, dangers, and conflicts of the Tour de France."

The film no longer has a central character: "Brain Power will follow several Tour riders as they cope with pain in the high Alps, experience a "fight-or-flight" situation on a steep downhill switchback, struggle to maintain mental focus and wage a constant mental war between extreme exhaustion and their motivation to reach the finish line in Paris."

Two of the cyclists featured in the new cut of the movie - not, it must be said, current Tour de France riders - will be TV commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen.

The film is now slated for a November 2005 premiere, with general release in Spring 2006. This is more than a year later than originally planned.

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