Richard Simmons Disavows Biopic Starring Pauly Shore Just Hours After Announcement

January 18, 2024 - Movies


It didn’t take long for reclusive fitness guru Richard Simmons to disavow a new biopic about him that was announced by The Wolper Organization, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Pictures, with Pauly Shore set to star. Just hours after the announcement was made, Simmons took to social media to voice his opinion on the matter. The fitness legend, who rose to prominence with his Sweatin’ to the Oldies aerobic videos in the late 1980s, hasn’t made a major public appearance since 2014.

In a post on Facebook, where Simmons is sporadically active, he said that he never gave his permission for the biopic to be made, and that he no longer has a manager, or a publicist. He told his followers, “don’t believe everything you read.” Check out Richard Simmons’ full Facebook post below:

Simmons would follow up his post with another one just three hours later, saying that he had several inquires as to whether his original post was authentic. He reiterated his previous statement, claiming he hasn’t had a manager or publicist in years, and directed people to contact him through his website. See his full post below:

Richard Simmons, who turned 75 in 2023, has been the subject of public intrigue ever since he dropped out of sight in February 2014. Since that time, there’s been speculation about everything from him being held hostage by his housekeeper, to Simmons being actually deceased, and that the person running his social media accounts is not actually the fitness star. In August 2022, Simmons responded to some of the rumors about him after a TMZ documentary, titled What Really Happened to Richard Simmons, claimed knee replacement surgery followed by an immense amount of pain forced him out of the public eye. Simmons denied the allegations via a spokesperson, simply stating that he “is happy, healthy, and living the life he has chosen to live.”

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The Richard Simmons Biopic Will “Celebrate” His Life

Richard Simmons wearing glasses with happy faces on them in Workout Wednesday Light Dumbbell Workout for Arms, Chest, Shoulders and Back.

With news of the Richard Simmons biopic coming early on the morning of January 17, Mark Wolper of The Wolper Organization released a statement saying that there is an “uplifting story to tell,” regarding Simmons’ life. He would go on to say that the idea for a biopic had been toyed with for years, but never came to fruition until a few months ago. Check out his full statement below:

“There is an amazing, dramatic and uplifting story to tell about Richard Simmons. My company has been making historical dramas and biopics for over 50 years now…we know what works. 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. I saw the picture of them and realized these two are very similar, they both lived or died by how the world perceived them, they both fought to give their fans what they wanted and they both deserve an amazing comeback story! My company has locked Pauly down to play Richard Simmons and we are in serious discussions with a major writer to develop this as a dramatic and heartfelt feature in the tone of Little Miss Sunshine.”

Following Richard Simmon’s post on Facebook mentioning that he has no involvement in the biopic, and that he never gave his permission for a movie about his life to be made, The Wolper Organization released another statement, saying that they “plan to produce a movie that honors him, celebrates him and tells a dramatic story.” The statement goes on to say that the effect Simmons has had on people’s lives “needs to be recognized.” See the full statement below:

“While we would love to have [Simmons] involved, we respect his desire to privacy and plan to produce a movie that honors him, celebrates him and tells a dramatic story. 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.”

For his part, Pauly Shore, who will star as Simmons not only in the biopic, but also in the upcoming short film, The Court Jester, which is unrelated to the film by The Wolper Organization, released his own statement at the time of the biopic’s announcement. Shore says he’s excited about portraying Simmons, and that “we all need this biopic now more than ever.” Shore’s full statement can be read below:

“I’m really excited about sharing Richard Simmons’s life with the world. We all need this biopic now more than ever. Simmons represented mental health, getting people in shape and being his authentic silly self! Whenever he was on TV you could never take your eyes off of him and he brought such a joy to his appearances that represented nothing but a good time.”

Whether or not the lack of involvement from Simmons, and his disavowal of the project will have any impact on production remains to be seen. For now, Warner Bros. Pictures and The Wolper Organization are moving forward with the film, and additional casting is currently underway. To get a sense of what Pauly Shore as Richard Simmons might look like, check out the official teaser trailer for the short film, The Court Jester, below.

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