Johnny Knoxville Once Tried To Pitch A “Willie Nelson Karate Guy” Movie But The Studio Didn’t Like It

Willie Nelson country music
Warner Bros.

Ladies and gentlemen, we were ROBBED of one of the most culturally impactful films of the 21st century.

Saying 21st century might be an understatement. It’s possible that Willie Nelson playing a karate master in a movie could have been the biggest project in the history of mankind.

According to Jackass legend Johnny Knoxville, he and some other executives presented the idea to Paramount, and they decided to pass.

While a guest Steve-O’s Wild Ride! Podcast, Knoxville stated that they pitched two movies at once, and the studio ended up going with the other one:

“We went to Paramount to pitch two films the day we pitched Bad Grandpa. We pitched a movie where Willie Nelson was going to play this ass-kicking karate guy. So you get to see Willie Nelson kick ***.

Jeff and I are like ‘We hope they don’t pick Bad Grandpa, because that’s going to be a nightmare to pull off.'”

The Jeff that Johnny alluded to there is the one and only Jeff Tremaine, who was the brilliant (?) mind behind everything Jackass. It was he and Knoxville that were sitting in front of Paramount executives with the two ideas:

“We went in there and pitched, and then they said ‘We want to do Bad Grandpa.’ We looked like we had been punched in the stomach. Someone (had) just bought a movie from us, and we were so bummed.” 

Bad Grandpa ended up doing just fine, bringing in $152 million at the box office. But I could see why they were disappointed when the more difficult movie to make got the green light, and the one revolving around a country music legend karate master got stopped in its tracks.

Willie Nelson probably would have been able to do most of his own stunts too, considering the Red-Headed Stranger has a black belt in karate (if you don’t believe me, read this). Plus, he’s got plenty of acting experience, and actually just recently starred in an indie movie that took more than 10 years to make.

Nelson is now 90-years-old, which means that Knoxville needs to march back into the Paramount offices and say he can now do a 2-for-1 deal for them now. Willie can both play a kick-ass karate master AND a bad grandpa at this point, so let’s make it happen, shall we?

You can view Johnny Knoxville’s interview snippet below:

@wildridepodcast @Johnny Knoxville Almost Never Filmed Bad Grandpa #badgrandpa #johnnyknoxville #hollywoodmakeup ♬ original sound – Steve-O’s Wild Ride! Podcast

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