Pauly Shore will star in Richard Simmons biopic without the fitness icon’s blessing

Pauly Shore will star in a biopic about fitness guru Richard Simmons, having previously portrayed him in the unrelated upcoming short film The Court Jester. However, it seems that the project will go ahead without the real Simmons’ blessing.

Announced on Wednesday, the film will be produced by Warner Bros. Discovery subsidiary The Wolper Organization. Though no writer, director, or other cast members have yet been confirmed, president Mark Wolper appears confident that Shore’s casting will be the pivotal piece ensuring everything else falls into place.

“We have been dancing around the idea for years, but it never coalesced until several months ago when I saw the press about Pauly Shore being touted by social media as the ONLY person that could play Richard,” Wolper said in a statement, adding that they were aiming for a tone similar to the gently optimistic dramedy Little Miss Sunshine.

“We all need this biopic now more than ever,” said Shore. “Simmons represented mental health, getting people in shape, and being his authentic silly self!”

Unfortunately for them, it looks as though there’s at least one person who doesn’t think we need this biopic at all. Just hours after the announcement, the film’s reclusive subject Simmons took to social media to explicitly disavow the project.

“You may have heard they may be doing a movie about me with Pauly Shore,” Simmons wrote Wednesday on his Facebook account. “I have never given my permission for this movie. So don’t believe everything you read. I no longer have a manager, and I no longer have a publicist. I just try to live a quiet life and be peaceful. Thank you for all your love and support.”

A popular fitness icon in the ’80s, Simmons suddenly retreated from the public eye in 2014. His mysterious disappearance sparked considerable concern at the time, and caused some fans to worry about his welfare. It even prompted the creation of popular 2017 podcast Missing Richard Simmons, which investigated his vanishing by talking to various associates of his. Fortunately, Simmons has clarified that his newfound reclusive lifestyle is simply a matter of personal preference, and that he wanted to focus on taking care of himself.

Considering Simmons’ public desire for privacy, it isn’t surprising that he’s less than thrilled by the prospect of his story being dragged back to the fore. Even so, Simmon’s disapproval doesn’t appear to have deterred The Wolper Organization from pressing on with its plans. Speaking to Variety, the production company stated that though it would have liked to have Simmons involved, it would “respect his desire to privacy” and proceed with making “a movie that honors him” without him.

“We know he is deeply private and we would never want to invade that, however he is an amazing person that changed millions of peoples’ lives, and the effect he has had on the world needs to be recognized,” The Wolper Organization said in a statement to Variety.

It sounds as though Simmons might dispute that, though.

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