It was confirmed on Monday that Nicolas Cage would be portraying Joe Exotic in an upcoming series, and the internet has definitely reacted to the news. Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, was the subject of the Netflix true-crime series Tiger King: Murder, Madness, and Mayhem, which certainly captured the attention of viewers everywhere since its premiere on March 20.
However, the as-yet-untitled series isn't based on the Netflix series, but rather on a 2019 article in Texas Monthly, titled "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild." While the article treads much of the same ground as Tiger King, it promises to show one man slowly losing himself to the caricature of himself he's created. Basically, the kind of role that the actor could really lose himself in.
While Cage wasn't everyone's first choice, the actor's notoriously unique commitment to his roles is bound to make for a very interesting take on the former private zoo owner who's currently serving a 22-year prison sentence. With that in mind, here's a rundown of seven films and TV shows that are worth watching to get hyped for the upcoming Joe Exotic series.
1. 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness'
Obviously, the Netflix series that made Joe Exotic a household name is the best place to start. Initially a seven-part series, Tiger King looks at the day-to-day operation of Exotic's former park, as well as Carole Baskin's big cat sanctuary in Florida. There has also been one additional episode added to capitalize on its popularity because sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction.
2. 'Tiger King: What Really Went Down'
Along with the Netflix series, TMZ broadcast its own hour-long investigation, Tiger King: What Really Went Down, that also looked at the cultural phenomenon it created almost overnight. It also clarifies some subjects that the documentary seems to have glossed over. Enough of which it makes the list for required viewing.
3. 'Raising Arizona'
In 1987, the same year that Cage captivated audiences with his role in Moonstruck, he also starred as H.I. McDunnough in the Coen brothers' Raising Arizona. Despite being a down-on-his-luck petty thief, Cage manages to make the trailer park-dwelling felon genuinely likable. A talent that's sure to come in handy.
4. 'Wild at Heart'
David Lynch wrote and directed this 1990 offbeat crime drama, which stars Cage as the delightfully unhinged Sailor Ripley and co-starring Laura Dern as Lula Pace Fortune. Cage himself once described the character to The New York Times as "a kind of romantic Southern outlaw," which kind of says it all.
5. 'Con Air'
1997's Con Air finds Cage playing the recently-discharged Army vet Cameron Poe, a charming southern gentleman who's on his way home to his pregnant wife. However, things go south when his plane is commandeered by Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom (John Malkovich), setting the stage for Cage's hero to save the day.
6. 'Wicker Man'
Arguably the height of Cage's baroque period, 2006's The Wicker Man is both a remake of the 1973 horror classic and a re-adaptation of David Pinner's 1967 novel Ritual. It was universally panned at the time but has found a second life as a cult classic, thanks entirely to Cage's absolutely unpredictably hypnotic performance throughout.
This 2019 action romp stars Cage as Frank Walsh, a skilled big-game hunter who's caught an extremely rare white jaguar in the rain forests of Brazil with the expectation he'll be able to turn a profit at a private zoo. It also involves cops, criminals, and exotic wildlife running amuck. It's almost like a Tiger King prequel in and of itself and is sure to set the mood for Cage's take on Joe Exotic.