I’m extremely hyped for the dumb fun of Jackass Forever. Introspective dramas about emotions and junk can wait: after two years of COVID, I just want to see Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, and the gang getting whacked in the nuts. But there’s a cloud hanging over the production, with former Jackass Bam Margera very unhappy after being fired from the movie.
Margera has had a high-profile struggle with addiction, though his friends managed to convince the studio that he should appear in the sequel. Paramount’s condition was that he sign a “wellness agreement,” consenting to frequent breathalyzer tests, twice-weekly urinalysis, hair follicle testing, and that his medication be monitored by a doctor via FaceTime. But it appears that Margera broke this contract and was subsequently fired in early 2021.
Since then, there’s been bad blood between Margera and the production team, leading to him being slapped with a restraining order after reportedly threatening director Jeff Tremaine’s wife and children. Margera responded with legal action of his own, filing a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, MTV Networks, Jeff Tremaine, Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, and others involved in Jackass Forever for wrongful termination and intellectual property theft.
Now, in an unexpected development, he may well succeed. Paramount launched a motion under California’s anti-SLAPP statute in an attempt to get Margera’s case dismissed as frivolous. But Judge Robert S. Draper said that Margera has a “probability of success” and ruled in favor of him on the majority of his claims. Margera’s attorney Dennis S. Ellis sounded a triumphant note:
“This is a complete victory for Bam that demonstrates our claims are sound. The Court eliminated what it believed were two wrongly pleaded causes of action, but it in no way eliminated Margera’s right to seek to block the use of his intellectual property through an injunction against the movie.”
This puts the film’s Feb. 4 release in doubt. A full hearing to decide the case will be listed early next year, though if they follow through with a successful application for an injunction, Jackass Forever will be shelved. This would mean a delay until either a judge rules on Margera’s claims or ⏤ perhaps more likely ⏤ Paramount settles out of court.
Either way, this is a twist in the tail, as few expected Margera’s legal battle to end in any kind of victory.
More on Jackass Forever as we hear it.