When Johnny Knoxville and his “Jackass” band return to the big screen in “Jackass 4” this autumn, it will be more than a decade since the group’s last adventure. That would be “Jackass 3D,” which debuted in October 2010 and went on to become a comedy blockbuster with a worldwide gross of $171 million. In the ten years between instalments, Knoxville was adamant about avoiding shooting a fourth “Jackass” film, but he came up with stunt concepts for another sequel instead.
“Ever since 2010’s ‘Jackass 3D’ wrapped, Knoxville had been quietly turning ideas over in his head, scribbling down brief descriptions of stunt concepts and sending himself the notes with ‘Jackass 4 idea’ in the subject line,” according to a new GQ cover storey on Knoxville. Finally, he felt the itch and asked his aide to jot down his thoughts in a document.”
The stunt ideas book for “Jackass 4” was “heavy,” Knoxville told GQ. “It’s ten years worth of ideas – 40, 50 pages worth of ideas.”
With the book of ideas in place, Knoxville approached “Jackass” co-creator and film director Jeff Tremaine and informed him that he was ready to return for a fourth instalment. “How are people going to take it?” Tremaine expressed his scepticism. Do people really want to watch a bunch of middle-aged men kick each other in the dicks?”
Steve-O, Knoxville’s “Jackass” co-star, had reservations as well. “I thought going into ‘Jackass 4,’ that after all we’ve gone through and built, all it takes is one stupid fucking mishap to basically obliterate it,” the stunt comic told GQ. “Just make everything negative. ‘Oh, these fucking dumb assholes,’ I’d say. ‘What did you think you’d get?’ But we went ahead and fucked it up anyhow.
Knoxville, Steve-O, and Tremaine have all been around from the beginning of “Jackass.” The original series aired on MTV for three seasons from 2000 to 2003, spawning three films: “Jackass the Movie” ($79 million global), “Jackass Number Two” ($84 million global), and “Jackass 3D” ($171 million global). “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” featuring Knoxville, was released in 2013 and grossed $151.8 million worldwide.
Steve-O recently disclosed that he was paralysed from the waist down and performed the biggest bellyflop into a pool of pee as part of his preparation for “Jackass 4.” “Jackass 4” will be released in theatres on October 22 by Paramount.