Arnold Schwarzenegger Sells Bodybuilding Drama 'Pump' to Showtime (Exclusive)
If the project, which will be executive produced by Eric and Kim Tannenbaum and trace the origin of the present-day fitness industry, is ordered to series, Schwarzenegger intends to recur.
A version of this story first appeared in the June 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to his roots.
The former bodybuilder-turned-California governor has sold a drama to Showtime that hits particularly close to home. The project, titled Pump, traces the origin of the present-day fitness industry and culture of body worship to a single 1,000-square-foot concrete room on Pacific Avenue: a gym called Pump.
The hourlong drama effort, which is set in early 1970s Venice Beach, Calif., will be written and executive produced by Michael Konyves (Barney’s Version, The Last Knight), with The Tannenbaum Co.'s Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men) and Schwarzenegger attached as exec producers. If ultimately ordered to series, Schwarzenegger intends to recur.
Konyves, who had a deal at the CBS TV Studios-based Tannenbaum Co., initially brought the idea to the Tannenbaums. "We loved it, but I said the only way you can really tell this story is if we can get Arnold involved," recalls Eric Tannenbaum, adding: "The birth of the fitness/bodybuilding revolution can literally be traced back to the days when Arnold arrived in the U.S." Tannenbaum reached out to CAA, which reps him as well as the former governor, and set up a meeting. Schwarzenegger signed on and began sharing stories of his past.
The project, which was pitched exclusively to Showtime, comes less than a year after Schwarzenegger reflected on his own bodybuilding past in an ESPN 30 for 30 short film titled Arnold’s Blueprint. The latter focused on his teen years in the Austrian Army, where he began the bodybuilding career that flourished at Gold's Gym in Venice and would ultimately lead to his stardom.
Following his political tenure, Schwarzenegger has returned to Hollywood in a significant way. In addition to publishing a memoir, Total Recall, he has starred in both Expendables 2 and The Last Stand and has action thriller Escape Plan opposite Sylvester Stallone forthcoming.
Schwarzenegger is repped by CAA and Bloom Hergott; The Tannenbaum Co. is repped by CAA and Del Shaw; Konyves is repped by Industry Entertainment and Stone Meyer.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose
Sundance: On the Scene