Insider: Johnny Knoxville teams with Chelsea Handler for 'Fun' movie

Johnny Knoxville

Photo by Saul Young

Johnny Knoxville

Johnny Knoxville has been busy working on a career that doesn't have "Jackass" written all over it.

The South Knoxville native has wrapped up work on "Fun Size," a new comedy starring Josh Pence, Victoria Justice and Chelsea Handler. The film centers on a troubled but smart teenager who loses her strange little brother on Halloween and has only one night to find him.

Justice, best known to audiences for her Nickelodeon show "Victorious," recently talked about working with Knoxville, also known around these parts as PJ Clapp.

"Johnny has also been amazing. I didn't really know what to expect, but I was so pleasantly surprised," she told AOL.

"He's such a genuine person and so sweet. He's completely true to himself and where he came from and that's something I respect a lot. He's perfectly cast as his character, I think his scenes are going to be hilarious. It was such a pleasure getting to know him."

The release date is Oct. 12, 2012.

Josh Schwartz, who produces "Gossip Girl" and "Chuck" for TV, directed and produced "Fun Size."

Meanwhile, a movie Knoxville made with Kevin Spacey two years ago finally may be released. "Father of Invention," which also has Knoxville's longtime friend Heather Graham in it, casts Spacey as a one-time successful inventor who hits on hard times and thinks he's found a way to redeem himself and his career.

The movie was shot in New Orleans.

"Intervention" did not make it in theaters because it did not have a distributor. Now that the picture has a distributor, "Invention" will be out, maybe just as a DVD, soon.

Trent Cooper, who was behind the camera for "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector," was the director of "Invention," too.

Is another "Jackass" movie in the works? So far, there is no official word, but you'd have to think so: "Jackass 3D," which came out a year ago, made almost $160 million at the box office, making it the most successful film of the franchise so far.

The success of "3D" alone would open doors for Knoxville to have a still viable movie career in Hollywood.

And as often happens in Hollywood, sometimes the movies a star doesn't make can make headlines, too. According to producer Brett Ratner, summer comedy hit "Horrible Bosses" had, at one time, Knoxville attached as one of its stars.

Why Knoxville did not stay with the film is a tale, apparently, for another day.

Casting news. Knoxville native Lara Parker, whose career was launched as the witch Angelique on the ABC soap "Dark Shadows," will be part of a big-screen adaptation of the series. She recently returned from London, where she shot scenes with other original cast members, including Jonathan Frid (who played Barnabas Collins in the TV series).

The "Dark Shadows" movie will star Johnny Depp (as Barnabas) and is being directed by Tim Burton. It will hit theaters in 2012.

Kenny Chesney

Photo by Adam Brimer

Kenny Chesney

Touring. Leave it to Kenny Chesney to try and convert the masses of New York City area to country music. The East Tennessee superstar recently brought his Goin' Coastal tour to the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. and turned it into a six-hour music fest with sets by Uncle Kracker, Billy Currington and Zac Brown Band.

Billboard.com reported the event moved slightly more then 55,000 tickets at the year-old football stadium.

The website also reported the show was the largest ticketed country show in the New York/New Jersey area since Willie Nelson was joined by Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Linda Ronstadt at the facility's predecessor, Giants Stadium, in 1983.

The crowd sported cowboy hats, cowboy boots and "were in good spirits (or filled with various spirits, if tailgating activity was any indication)," the website said.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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