Richard Simmons Does Not Endorse Pauly Shore Playing Him in New Short Film

Pics of Shore in costume as Simmons were released on Wednesday, but the fitness legend's rep tells ET that the project is unauthorized.

Pauly Shore is playing fitness guru Richard Simmons in an upcoming short film -- though ET has learned that the project does not have the support of Simmons himself.

New photos and a teaser trailer were released on Wednesday, which show Shore in costume as Simmons in The Court Jester, which is set to premiere during the Sundance Film Festival later this month. An unrelated feature film from The Wolper Organization is also in the works, also featuring the Encino Man comic in the starring role.

In the released photos, Shore sports Simmons' recognizable curly hair, a sequined blue tank top and black-and-white striped shorts as he performs a choreographed workout routine. One photo also features Self Reliance star Tamra Brown in costume as Ellen DeGeneres, hinting that the sequence is recreating one of Simmons' appearances on DeGeneres' eponymous talk show.

"I'm really excited about sharing Richard Simmons’ life with the world," Short said in a statement. "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."

Isaak Morin
Isaak Morin
Isaak Morin

Simmons' rep told ET in a statement on Wednesday, "Richard and I are not endorsing this project. It is unauthorized. I spoke to Pauly last year and told him [Richard] is not ready to tell his story."

A post to Simmons' verified Facebook account on Wednesday also shared, "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. 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. Richard."

While The Court Jester is unrelated to the upcoming feature film, Wolper Organization head Mark Wolper has supported the short.

"There is an amazing, dramatic and uplifting story to tell about Richard Simmons," Wolper said in a statement in part. "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!" he continued. "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."

The Court Jester is set to premiere during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 19.