Van Toffler helped Viacom earn millions as executive producer of “Jackass” TV series, movies and spinoffs including “Bad Grandpa”: The four films in the Johnny Knoxville-led franchise generated $356 million at the U.S. box office.
Now, as co-founder and CEO of indie digital studio Gunpowder & Sky, Toffler is returning to the dumb-and-dangerous entertainment genre. G&S has partnered with DIY daredevil Zach Holmes to develop a new homebrewed-stunts series, “Too Stupid to Die.” The pilot has been shot, and Gunpowder & Sky plans to approach distribution partners about picking up the project.
Holmes, known for his extreme stunts and pranks, recently had one of his YouTube channels terminated for violating the site’s community guidelines (although the “Too Stupid to Die” YouTube channel now hosts several of his videos). He and his posse are an underground hit, with accounts on Facebook and Instagram. Holmes recently scored a stunt collaboration with Steve-O (Stephen Glover), one of the original members of “Jackass,” in which Holmes skateboards nude into a cactus patch.
“The first time I saw one of Zach’s videos I dropped everything and spent the day stalking his social media,” said David Harris, Gunpowder & Sky’s senior VP of development and a former MTV producer: “I haven’t seen anyone as fearless, funny or creative since the ‘Jackass’ guys.”
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In addition to Holmes, the series regulars will include members of his crew: Coty, Meggan, Tommy “Mr. Invincible” (who parkour fail appeared in an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos”), Blazer and Chad.
Holmes, in a statement provided by G&S, said that he started “Too Stupid to Die” with “just a camera and a dream to keep the dying ‘Jackass’ genre of entertainment alive.”
Gunpowder & Sky, whose investors include AT&T-Chernin Group’s Otter Media, in January acquired full control of studio startup Supergravity Pictures and last fall acquired FilmBuff, an independent content sales and distribution company.
The L.A.-based company’s film development slate includes an adaption of Jeff Hart’s “Eat, Brains, Love”; Sarah Benincasa’s “DC Trip” (in partnership with Adaptive Studios and Bona Fide Productions); and “Paperchase” from Lauren Domino and Angela Tucker.