Pauly Shore is about to get his long-anticipated chance to sweat to the oldies — and hopefully kick off a comeback in the process.
According to The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets, Shore is set to portray era-defining fitness guru Richard Simmons in a forthcoming biopic. Though details are scarce, the project is being developed by The Wolper Organization, a subsidiary of Warner Bros.
In a statement, Shore said he was “really excited about sharing Richard Simmons’s life with the world,” adding, “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.”
Shore, left, said he "definitely can morph into" Simmons, right. The actor has played up the idea of portraying the fitness guru since last year.
A release date for the film has yet to be announced.
News of Shore’s casting prompted a rare social media post from Simmons himself, who said he was not involved with the project.
“I have never given my permission for this movie,” he wrote on Facebook Wednesday. “So don’t believe everything you read.”
In response, The Wolper Organization said it would “produce a movie that honors him, celebrates him and tells a dramatic story,” even without his direct involvement.
“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 production company told Variety.
News of the biopic comes as a different project starring Shore as Simmons is on the brink of its world premiere. Written and directed by Jake Lewis, “The Court Jester” is an unrelated short film that will be screened at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday.
Simmons rose to fame in the early 1980s as the energetic host of “The Richard Simmons Show,” which emphasized personal health and fitness. These days, he’s best remembered for his “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” workout series.
Though Simmons has maintained a low public profile for the past decade, he’s frequently cited by contemporary at-home fitness mavens, including Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby, as an influence.
Shore has played up the idea of portraying Simmons since last year. In April, he shared an Instagram reel imitating some of the fitness guru’s moves.
“I think it’s about time for a Richard Simmons biopic starring Pauly Shore, don’t you dooodz?” he wrote in the post’s caption.
In September, Shore told fans he’d been “trying to make” a biopic happen and had reached out to Simmons for his blessing to do it.
“I definitely can morph into this guy,” he wrote on Facebook. “I’ll see you at the Academy Awards 2025.”
Shore has hinted that he hopes the role can result in a comeback like his “Encino Man” co-stars, Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan, have experienced in recent years.
“The comeback and all that other stuff is something everyone wants to have. Everyone wants to have that opportunity and that shot to go get back out there again with the right script and the right director and the right story,” he said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly published Wednesday. “I mean, look at Mickey Rourke and ‘The Wrestler’ when he had that run — it happens all the time. So hopefully my stars will line up... I’m hoping for the best, and I hope that we get a great writer because if it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage. We’ve got to make sure that that’s dead on before we even start moving forward.”