The TV show only ran for 25 episodes, but Jackass still managed to become a pop culture landmark in the earliest days of the 21st Century, although there was no shortage of outrage and controversy caused by the gang and their increasingly dangerous escapades, which were directly blamed for many accidents and even deaths where people tried to mimic the daredevil insanity that defined the series.
Somehow, the franchise is still going strong two decades later, and Jackass has proven to be a hugely successful property for Paramount on the big screen. The three feature-length installments and spinoff Bad Grandpa cost a combined total of just over $50 million to make, but managed to earn more than $487 million at the box office.
Jackass 4 finally arrives in October ten years following the last entry, and has suffered from some turmoil after stars Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O were hospitalized on the second day of filming, while Bam Margera was fired for a breach of contract, with things now having escalated to the stage where director Jeff Tremaine has reportedly had to file a restraining order.
In a new interview, Steve-O admitted that he thought Jackass 4 might have been a bad idea, when one major mishap could permanently taint the brand, something that wasn’t outside the realms of possibility given the aging troupe and the increasingly madcap stunts.
“I thought going into Jackass 4, after everything we’ve been through, and everything we’ve built, all it takes is one stupid f*cking accident to just erase it. Just turn it all into a negative. To be like, ‘Oh, these f*cking dumb assholes. What did you f*cking expect?’. But we went ahead and f*cking did it.”
Tremaine summed it up in even better and much briefer fashion, distilling the major question behind Jackass 4 in a nutshell, pun fully intended.
“How are people going to take it? Like, do people want to see a bunch of middle-aged dudes kick each other in the dicks?”
All of the main cast members are aged between 44 and 51 now, so it’s no surprise that Knoxville has said Jackass 4 will be his last, because they surely can’t keep this up for much longer.