Presumably because he works cheap and already has the wardrobe for it, Nicolas Cage will be starring as Tiger King’s Joe Exotic in an upcoming 8-part scripted television series. According to Variety, it will be Nic’s first-ever regular television role and he’ll also be acting as an executive producer. To me, this casting is a little too on the nose in that Nic has personally made nearly as many disastrous life choices as Joe, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if I heard Nic had a secret stash of tigers somewhere if I thought he could afford them.
The story centers around Joe Schreibvogel, a.k.a Joe Exotic, an eccentric, exotic zookeeper in Oklahoma who fights to keep his park even at the risk of losing his sanity. The series will live in the lion’s den with Joe, explore how he became Joe Exotic, and how he lost himself to a character of his own creation.
Variety says that the show is based on a pre-Netflix documentary Texas Monthly article titled Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild, and The Hollywood Reporter adds that Nic has actually been attached to this project since April, well before Joe became the internet’s most beloved tiger murderer.
American Vandal showrunner Dan Lagana, who has an overall deal at CBS TV Studios, and Paul Young optioned the article in June 2019, well before Tiger King became a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Cage had been in talks to play the lead role since April. CBS TV Studios and Imagine are taking the show out to potential buyers soon.
Both THR and Variety remind us that this is the second series about Joe’s Exotic that’s been announced. Kate McKinnon is going to be playing Joe’s nemesis Carole Baskin in a scripted series based on the Joe Exotic podcast from Wondery. Seriously though, I’m already experiencing Tiger King fatigue and by the time either of these projects get completed, Joe Exotic’s erotic antics are just going to seem like a quarantine fever dream we collectively experienced. In which case, Nic and Kate should consider teaming up and concentrate on just giving us one spectacular season of a Tiger King-themed television show based on the movie Face/Off. Nic doing Joe doing Kate doing Carol saying “hey all you cool cats and kittens” is something I very much would like to see. Guaranteed Emmys all around!