Hours after it was announced that Pauly Shore would play him in an upcoming biopic, fitness guru Richard Simmons revealed that he did not give his blessing for the film to be made.
“Hi Everybody! You may have heard they may be doing a movie about me with Pauly Shore. I have never given my permission for this movie. So don’t believe everything you read,” Simmons wrote on Facebook.
Simmons became known for his aerobics classes at his Beverly Hills fitness studio in the 1970s that catered to overweight people, a niche he sought to fill as he himself had lost over 100 pounds through fitness programs without the help of gyms that favored already fit people. In recent years, Simmons has stepped away from public life, something he noted in his Facebook post.
“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,” he wrote.
Pauly Shore is set to play Simmons in “The Court Jester,” a short film unrelated to the upcoming biopic that will premiere this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival. The biopic will be produced by The Wolper Organization, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., and is in search for a screenwriter.
“I’m really excited about sharing Richard Simmons’s life with the world. We all need this biopic now more than ever,” Shore said in a statement on Wednesday morning when the project was announced. “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.”
In a separate statement to media first provided to Variety Wednesday, Mark Wolper of The Wolper Organization said the goal of the film is tell a story that’s “dramatic and heartfelt … in the tone of ‘Little Miss Sunshine.’”
“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,” Wolper said.