In potentially the most perfect piece of casting news of all time, Nicolas Cage has signed on to play the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic, in a new scripted series. The internet’s fantasy casting dreams are coming true.
The March release of Tiger King on Netflix naturally sparked a surge in interest in Exotic, the charges against him, and exotic animal ownership in general. It was probably only a matter of time until a scripted series was put into motion.
American Vandal writer Dan Lagana will serve as writer, showrunner, and executive producer on the still-untitled, eight-episode scripted series which will be adapted from Leif Reigstad‘s Texas Monthly article ‘Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into The World Of A Man Gone Wild’ which he and Paul Young optioned. The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios and Imagine Television Studios.
Cage’s casting almost seems too good to be true, but his unique screen presence and usual manic energy does make him the perfect fit here. Rarely do the obvious dream casting scenarios come to fruition, but this looks to be one of the rare times the internet’s thinking was perfectly in line with Holywood’s.
The Cage-led series will follow “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”, according to Variety.
With Lagana and Cage on board, one imagines this scripted series will take a more comedic approach to the events of Exotic’s life before he was incarcerated. It will be fascinating to see how the show balances tone and presents Exotic, especially considering that much of the public now knows the real man.
This isn’t actually the only Joe Exotic series in the works. Back in November, pre-Tiger King, it was announced that Kate McKinnon would star in a TV adaptation of the podcast simply titled Joe Exotic. She will play Carole Baskin, a woman with a great affinity for big cats who stops at nothing to try and take down Exotic’s breeding operation.
We’ll how these two competing series tackle the same subject. One imagines the McKinnon series may be overshadowed by the craziness of the Cage one, but that one may be further into pre-production and does have a different angle to approach the material from. So even with Tiger King complete, expect to see much more Joe Exotic in your life, whether you like it or not.