More than two decades after debuting “Jackass,” the MTV cultural phenomenon that aired for three years and spun off multiple lucrative theatrical films, Johnny Knoxville is back with the fourth movie installment in his stunt franchise — but will it be the last?
“Someone wrote it was the last one, but we never said it was the last one,” Knoxville tells Variety, despite previous reports out there.
“I mean, it could go on…we could do another one if we wanted,” Knoxville adds. “I don’t know if we want to, but we could let the old guys come in and have fun, but put it more on the young cast. I don’t know. After [the first two films], we’re like ‘Never.’ And then there we made a third one and now we make a fourth one. So, we’re never saying never.”
“Jackass Forever,” which hits theaters on Feb. 4, reunites Knoxville, now 50 years old, with his chaotic pals Steve-O, Chris Pontius and director Jeff Tremaine.
With more than 20 years of hijinks, Knoxville has a tough time nailing down which injury was the most painful. But he does note the one time he broke his penis in 2007 stunt where he tried to flip a motorcycle. The injury left him with a catheter for three-and-a-half years.
“I broke my gym dog a number of years ago,” Knoxville cracks. “That’s been well documented. So much has been said about so little.”
“The doctor said a couple centimeters down and it would’ve been out of commission,” he adds. With a pause, he continues: “But I’ve had two children since then, so it’s in great working order. That’s too much information.”
In 2002, the first film, “Jackass: The Movie,” grossed over $60 million domestically on a $5 million budget, kicking off the profitable feature franchise. In 2006, Paramount released the second film, which topped the box office during opening weekend, once again. In 2010, “Jackass 3D” marked the 10th anniversary of the TV series and brought in more than $170 million worldwide. And in 2013, Knoxville dressed up as an elderly man for the hidden camera flick, “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” which earned an Oscar nomination (for makeup and hairstyling) and brought in over $150 million on a $15 million budget.
With the low-cost and money-making model of “Jackass,” it’s no wonder a fourth film is heading to theaters next month. But while Knoxville is keeping the door open for another movie, his focus right now is on something else: WWE’s Royal Rumble.
Knoxville recently pledged to participate in the live wrestling event, telling his 3.5 million Instagram followers shortly after the new year that he’d be entering the match. Just a few days ago, he appeared on WWE SmackDown, qualifying for the Royal Rumble.
“I’m not doing the Royal Rumble; I’m winning the Royal Rumble. People don’t know my wrestling skills and they’re about to see them,” Knoxville says to Variety. “I’ve seen their current list of Superstars, and they don’t have anyone big enough to throw me over the top rope — that, I guarantee.”