EXCLUSIVE: With his Runner Runner set to hit theaters this week, Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) has signed to write and direct Bigger for Bee Holder Productions. The biopic tells the story of the Weider brothers — bodybuilding icon Joe Weider, the Canadian entrepreneur who created the Mr. Olympia competition and mentored budding champ Arnold Schwarzenegger, and brother Ben, who co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilding with Joe in 1946. Steve Lee Jones and his Bee Holder Productions have optioned the rights to the Weider brothers’ life story as well as rights to Brothers of Iron, the duo’s 2006 biographical tome chronicling their journey from dirt-poor sons of Jewish immigrants battling anti-Semitism to the owners of an international health and fitness empire. The Weider family business grew to include a supplements line, fitness magazines, and the Mr. Olympia, Ms. Olympia, and Masters Olympia bodybuilding contests. Bigger will chronicle the siblings’ rise thanks to Joe’s vision and Ben’s biz smarts. Joe Weider died in March at 93.Ben Weider died in 2008.
Jones will produce for Bee Holder Productions, which also is backing development. Eric Weider will executive produce. Bee Holder previously produced the Emmy-winning Dr. Jack Kevorkian HBO pic You Don’t Know Jack, while upcoming projects in development include DeLorean, about automaker John DeLorean, and Rube, about porn pioneer Reuben Sturman. Furman is repped by CAA, Atlas Entertainment, and Jackaway Tyerman. Shannon Hensley of AGMB Law negotiated the Weider deal on behalf of Bee Holder.