Is there a Michael Phelps movie coming?

What are Dolly Parton, Britney Spears, John Madden, Harry Houdini and Michael Phelps do they all have in common?

Not much until yesterday.

Biopics about all five, including the most decorated Olympian in history, appeared in Black List 2022, which was released this week. The list is an annual round-up of Hollywood studio and production executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays.

The list was first developed in 2005, and of the more than 1,000 screenplays that have appeared on the list, over 440 have been made into motion pictures, according to the New York Times. These include 4 of the last 10 Academy Award winners for Best Picture and 12 of the last 20 Oscars for Screenplay.

Notable names on this list include Argo, Juno, American Hustle, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire.

The name of the Phelps film is Appeared again written by relatively unknown screenwriter Alyssa Ross.

Ross, who acts and writes, has never written or acted anything you’ve heard of. She was a member of the Brandeis University varsity track and cross country teams and is an elite triathlete, so she comes from an athletic background.

The film’s slogan in The Black List reads:

To Michael Phelps cementing his status as the greatest Olympian of all time, he is struggling to carve out a life and identity outside of the pool.

“The Blacklist is what producers describe as the ‘hottest’ scripts out there in Hollywood,” said Pieter Ritz, an assistant swim coach at UNLV and a film graduate from Cleveland State. “Michael Phelps‘ Story resonates with a lot of people, but his script probably gets the press because it has more to do with his time after retirement than what he did in the pool. It’s a story that many of us in the swimming community know is just as powerful as the one that made him the GOAT (not to be confused with another 2022 Blacklisted script).

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“I’m sure a lot of people are like, ‘Cool, there’s a script out there, are we going to see how it’s done?’ Ritz continued. “It’s very likely, yes, it’s all a matter of time, when you’ll see them in theaters or streaming. Some take no time at all and will be in production very quickly if not already, some may take a few years. With so many budding filmmakers in our sport, we may see one bringing this story to light.”

Phelps has a few acting credits to his name, although reviews have been…mixed. He appeared in one episode of Suits and another on Entourage. He also hosted Saturday Night Live, the NBC sketch comedy show.

So who would play Michael Phelps? Ritz considered Ben Affleck could take on the role. Timothy Olyphant looks close enough and was a member of the USC varsity swim team to offer a production with both his acting and his knowledge of the sport – and looks young enough to be acting maybe 30.

Ritz also suggested Hunter Doohan from the movie Wednesday (the new Addams Family movie) or English actor Theo James (who played “Four” in the Divergent series).

Another film-swimming crossover is Kevin Mann, the head swimming coach at Loyola High School in California, which won the 2022 California Boys’ Swimming & Diving High School State Championship. A longtime film producer, his notable works include Legacy, the Hulu documentary about the Los Angeles Lakers.

He suggested Spiderman, Andrew Garfield, for the role.

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