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The Scrapped Jackass Stunt That Was Too Expensive To Film

The guys from MTV's "Jackass" have gone through a lot of crazy stuff over the years, with each movie and batch of stunts becoming bigger and more expensive to film than the last. Naturally, it makes people wonder if there was ever a time when "Jackass" was just too extreme or pricey to shoot? 

The gang's latest project, "Jackass Forever," features yet another round of dangerous, prank-fueled hijinks for the audience's viewing pleasure as Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Danger Ehren and others from the "Jackass" franchise make their triumphant and grotesque returns to the big screen for a fourth time. Only now they're accompanied by some new Jeff Tremaine heathens, including surfer Sean "Poopies" McInerney, comedian Rachel Wolfson, rapper Jasper Dolphin of Odd Future, and actor Eric Manaka. 

With each "Jackass" movie that comes out, Tremaine and the film team are typically left on the hook for millions of dollars in insurance and related fees for the stunts being performed. But what if we told you there was once a proposed prank for 2002's "Jackass: The Movie" that would have cost millions just on its own to insure, and that its hefty price tag was the only reason it got scrapped?

Stunt with Pontius handling snakes inside Pentecostal church would have cost $5 million to insure

According to Johnny Knoxville, the "Jackass" team wanted to dress Chris Pontius up in a devil costume for the first movie and send him to a Pentecostal church to handle venomous snake. But the idea got tossed once everyone learned how much it would cost to insure. 

"It was going to be, like, $5 million," Knoxville explained to GQ in May 2021. "We're like, 'Okay, we're not doing that bit!'" While there were several "cost-prohibitive" stunts to fall through for that first movie, the one that has continued to stand out was the Pontius snake-charmer idea. 

"For the first movie, they insured per bit," Knoxville told The Hollywood Reporter in January 2021. "They didn't insure the whole movie," he added. "Our first entire movie cost $6 million. But after that, the movies were insured like a regular film." According to longtime producer Jeff Tremaine, the first film was one that Paramount Pictures never wanted to be publicly associated with, despite financially backing the movie. "Paramount wanted us to make it, but it was a negative pickup," Tremaine told THR. "They didn't fully put their name on it." Steve-O, also speaking with THR, said: "They shuttled the money through a ghost company. If anybody died, they wouldn't even be affiliated it with it. And then, once we were done, they 'found out about it' and bought it."