The Jackass team made headlines recently when it was revealed that original prankster Bam Margera would not be part of the upcoming Jackass Forever, the fourth and possible final installment in the bone-breaking reality stunt show turned unlikely movie franchise. The reasons behind his dismissal from the sequel have been a back-and-forth or he-said/he-said, but now Margera is filing a lawsuit claiming he was illegally fired from the production, so this sticky situation is about to get messier before it ever resolves.
According to a release, Margera filed the lawsuit today in Los Angeles Superior Court against Paramount Pictures, MTV, Jeffrey Tremaine, Philip John "P.J." Clapp (Johnny Knoxville), Adam H. Spiegel (Spike Jonze), Dickhouse Entertainment, Gorilla Flicks and others "to seek redress for Defendants' inhumane, abusive and discriminatory treatment of Plaintiff Margera, and for their wrongful termination of him from the Jackass franchise he created." In addition to seeking millions in compensation, Margera also is pursuing an injunction that would prevent Jackass Forever from being released on Oct. 22.
In his statement, Bam Margera said:
Johnny Knoxville has largely avoided talking about the circumstances that led to Bam Margera not being in Jackass Forever. In recent comments, he did say how important it was to him that Margera is getting healthy, and he implied that all he wanted to do was to help his old Jackass colleague stay on that path. But things collapsed, and Jeff Tremaine even filed a restraining order against Margera as relationships crumbled.
The lawsuit seems to boil down to a “Wellness Agreement” that Margera claims he was forced to sign by Knoxville and Jonze, and if he didn’t agree to its terms, he’d be “cut from all future installments of the Jackass films,” which would have “cut off Margera's primary income, and sole means of supporting his family.” The Wellness Agreement laid out a laundry list of adherences Margera had to follow, which included daily drug tests, administered randomly multiple times a day. Even though Margera claims he followed the agreement to the letter, it was used against him as a reason for his firing, claiming he was in violation.
One of Margera’s lawyers, Eric M. George, had this to say in the filed lawsuit:
You hate to see this happen, even on a franchise like Jackass. Despite the brutality of the physical and psychological pranks played on the members of the “cast,” there was an indisputable camaraderie between all involved, and now Bam Margera’s suing because he’s out of the club. So long as everything holds, Jackass Forever will be in theaters on October 22. Chances are, Margera won’t pay to see it.
Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.
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