During an interview with GQ, Jackass star Johnny Knoxville confirmed that Jeff Tremaine’s upcoming Jackass 4 will “be his last contribution to the franchise.” At the time of the interview, Knoxville was apparently finishing work on the project, “marveling at the absurdity of what he had just put his body through.”
“You can only take so many chances before something irreversible happens,” said the 50-year-old Knoxville. “I feel like I’ve been extremely lucky to take the chances I’ve taken and still be walking around.”
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Knoxville added that he knows “what he signed up for” with the franchise, including that he “wrote the stunts.” He also acknowledged that he never really paid attention to how this line of work would connect to someday growing older. “Half-ass stuntmen don’t really think long-term,” Knoxville said, listing off a few medical injuries including shattered bones, dented teeth, destroyed ankles, and more.
One of Knoxville’s co-stars, Steve-O, added that those injuries worsened over time: “Filming Jackass at this age is much the same as it ever was, with two big differences. Our bones break significantly easier. And it takes less to knock us completely unconscious. Plus longer to wake up.”
Knoxville shared that he knew his “stunt career was winding down” after he suffered four concussions while shooting 2018’s Action Point. Whenever other cast members would reach out asking about another Jackass movie, Knoxville said he wasn’t feeling it. “I didn’t feel the need or the desire. It’s a real emotional thing… I can’t afford to have any more concussions. I can’t put my family through that.”
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The franchise originated in 2000 with the MTV series that ran for three seasons and was a major hit for the network and its cast, ending after the third season due to creative and financial conflicts between the network and its stars. It found new life on the big screen with 2002’s Jackass: The Movie, which was originally envisioned as a farewell to the series and a way for the crew to circumvent the censors and do as many wild stunts as they pleased. After it was a major box-office hit, Knoxville and director Jeff Tremaine sought to have more wild adventures with the 2006 sequel, which fared a little better with critics and was another big hit at the box office. After a three-year hiatus, the franchise returned with Jackass 3D, grossing over $171 million at the box office, the largest of the franchise.
Jackass 4 is currently scheduled to hit theaters on October 22, 2021, from Paramount Pictures.