Jan 10, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT
The Oscar nominees are out, and, no surprise, Lincoln scored the most nominations with twelve. That’s because we’re suckers for biopics that show the struggle of the American spirit and ignore the “details” that might muddy the story. And so, here’s six Olympic biopics we’d like to see made from stories plucked from London 2012.
1. SOUTHERN BLADES: Oscar Pistorius, born with missing fibulas, his legs were amputated below the knees as a baby. In 2008 he appealed the Olympic Court of Arbitration for the right to compete with the standard Olympic games, a right that was granted him for the 2012 games where he went on to run in South Africa’s Men’s 4×400 team.
Lead: Jude Law
Oscar Chances: SUPER HIGH
Courtrooms, drama, human triumph, the world stage, and an Oscar for special effects. What’s not to love?
2. WATER WINGS: The true life and story of Michael Phelps: a young boy growing up in Baltimore who would go on to win eight golds in a single Olympics, and twenty-two total medals, to become the most decorated athlete in history.
Lead: John Krasinski (plus muscles)
Oscar Chances: MEDIUM
We have a great story here, especially with his early fourth place finish, keeping the audience guessing if he has one more in him (apparently he had six). But, as with all biopics, you have execute it top to bottom for success (see: Alexander ).
3. MISSY THE MISSLE: The incredible true story of Missy Franklin – teenager, olympian, missile – and her world-capturing performance on the biggest stage imaginable, along with her quest, at 17, towards a gold medal and world record.
Lead: Amy Adams
Oscar Chances: LOW
It’s not a better story than Phelps, and, for some reason – call it appeal – swimming movies have never much translated to the silver screen. Just ask Terrence Howard if you don’t believe us.
4. BOLTING TO THE LINE: “I am now a living legend. Bask in my glory.” Jamaica’s Usain Bolt destroyed the exceptional field (all but one under 10s) of the 100 meters in 9.63 seconds. Also winning the 200 in 19.32, the first athlete to win both sprints in consecutive Olympics. And to top it off, he also ran the anchor leg to set a world record in the 4×100 relay for his third gold.
Lead: Michael B. Jordan
Oscar Chances: MEDIUM
It would all fall on Bolt’s shoulders. His life is as astounding as it is unlikeable. Michael Jordan and Muhammed Ali have gone before; there may be little room left for another greatest and his sass ought be handled with great care.
5. FIERCE!: The Fab Five – the five American gymnasts (Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross) who won the all-around gymnastics gold, including the individual champion Gabby Douglas – lived up to their name, bringing home only the second gold ever for the women’s gymnastics team.
Lead: Willow Smith (as Gabby) – and at least one of the Fanning sisters
Oscar Chances: LOW
An ensemble piece would receive great audience appeal – teamwork, perseverance, underdogs – but certainly the Oscars are far above that. And remember Stick It? No? Because most of us would rather just watch real gymnastics.
6. BEST CHASE SCENARIO: the story of the burgeoning friendship between Mo Farah (UK) and Galen Rupp (USA) and the story of how they placed 1-2 at the 2012 Olympics in the 10,000m final for two countries that hadn’t medaled in 104, and 48 years, respectively.
Lead(s): Garrett Hedlund (as Rupp), David Gyasi (as Farah)
Oscar Chances: HIGH
Call me crazy, but everyone loved the running/religious tension in Chariots of Fire, and I can’t think of the last dear-friends-of-different-races-working-together movie that actually worked. It’s time. The Oscars are ready. We’re all ready.
Bryce is a filmmaker in Los Angeles, and does most of his writing for various Disney International publications. But he remains a Seattle sports fan beneath the magical facade.
Aug 20, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT
Can Allyson Felix finally topple Tori Bowie?
Aug 20, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
First medals awarded on an Olympic stage in rugby since 1924.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:46 AM EDT
Lily Zhang scored a breakthrough for U.S. table tennis.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:28 AM EDT
Gold medalists Hannah Moore and Clara Smiddy will go from Nanjing to Ann Arbor.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
U.S. vs. Australia in sprint head to head; outlook for Phelps and Lochte.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
Will Katie Ledecky be tested?
Aug 20, 2014, 5:34 AM EDT
Phelps’ debut in Australia pushed back to Friday.
Aug 20, 2014, 5:08 AM EDT
Video of Franklin being gingerly helped away from the pool.
Aug 19, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
Phelps also reflects on his first Olympics, also in Australia.
Aug 19, 2014, 11:36 AM EDT
More medals could be in Indy native’s future in Nanjing.
Aug 19, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
Former Giant must shoot for a specific distance in the triple jump.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
Summer and Winter Olympian said she has taken no breaks more than two days in the last two years.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:39 AM EDT
Canadian makes Olympic history with first career hole-in-one.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:04 AM EDT
Athletes gaining social media friends via interesting device in Nanjing.
Aug 18, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT
Watch what happens when the world’s best teenage athletes interview themselves.
Aug 18, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT
The Jamaican sprinter finishes in 10.06 on Copcabana beach, nearly half a second off his world-record pace.
Aug 17, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT
Team USA won its first three medals at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing Sunday.
Aug 16, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT
London Olympic champion begins quest for Nanjing gold Sunday.
Aug 16, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT
IOC president calls on youth athletes to “set a record for selfies.”
Aug 15, 2014, 12:53 PM EDT
Stars missing from Brazil, China, Japan and South Africa.
- Pan Pacific Championships men’s events preview 0
- Pan Pacific Championships women’s events preview 0
- Missy Franklin (back) in doubt for Pan Pacific Championships 0
- Golf debuts at Youth Olympics with hole-in-one (video) 0
- Youth Olympics begin with festive Opening Ceremony in Nanjing (photos) 0
- Some athletes from Ebola-hit nations barred from competing at Youth Olympics 0
- Runner DQ’d at European Championships for taking shirt off before win 12
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (56)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (38)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)