A quintet of young Australian troublemakers are making the jump from YouTube to the big screen. The Janoskians, who have attracted 1.5 million subscribers and 111 million views through their collection of stunts, pranks, music videos, and boyish good looks, have scored a film deal with Lionsgate.
The Janoskians are best known for videos where they perform practical jokes and socially-questionable behavior in highly public places. They have also recently expanded their channel to include music videos, which often draw seven-digit viewcounts. The group’s greatest strength, however, is its appeal with teenage girls. The Janoskians are ostensibly a YouTube boy band, and their public meetups regularly attract thousands of shrieking fans.
The film deal with Lionsgate, which was first reported by Deadline, will attempt to leverage that massively dedicated audience at the box office. All five members of The Janoskians (Beau Brooks, Jai Brooks, Luke Brooks, Daniel Sahyounie and James Yammouni) will star in a semi-scripted movie that will combine plenty of stunts and pranks with a story about the group’s move to Los Angeles. The Deadline report cites Jackass as a potential inspiration; the former MTV prank show has spawned seven films, five spinoffs, and a video game.
Brian Robbins will serve as one of the film’s producers. Robbins’ AwesomenessTV network has been partnered with The Janoskians since June 2013. Standup comedian Dan Ahdoot will write the movie, while Ben Baller director Danny Lee will direct.
The Janoskians are not the first YouTubers to cut a deal with Lionsgate; the studio has also teamed up with special effects whiz Freddie Wong.