Nicolas Cage has been cast to play the "Tiger King" himself, Joe Exotic, in a scripted adaptation of the hit Netflix series. According to a report by Variety, Cage will play Exotic in a new eight-episode-long series, which will be written and executive produced by Dan Lagana — best known for American Vandal — and Paul Young. So far, there is no telling where the series will air.
The public first got a comprehensive look at the life of Joe Exotic in an article by Leif Reigstrad in Texas Monthly, titled: "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild." This spring, Exotic's story reached new heights in a Netflix original series titled Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The docu-series laid out the big events of Exotic's zoological career, from his love of cats to his feud with Carole Baskin to his eventual imprisonment. Now, Cage will bring a dramatic flare to the whole story.
The new take on Tiger King is being produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios, and does not yet have a title. The show will reportedly be taken to market in the next few days, and while it has plenty of connections to Netflix, there is no guarantee it will air there.
Lagana is reportedly writing, executive producing and serving as showrunner. This is great news for fans of American Vandal — a parody of the docu-series genre on Netflix. Lagana is a perfect pick for the scripted adaptation of Exotic's already larger-than-life story. Cage will serve as an executive producer himself, through Saturn Films. Other executive producers include Brian Grazer, Samie Kim Falvey, Scott Brown and Megan Creydt.
This is the first TV role of Cage's long and legendary career. He is an Academy Award-winning film actor, with some of the most acclaimed and most panned movies of the last few decades to his name. Either way, fans seem to agree that he is a pitch-perfect pick to play Exotic.
Another scripted adaptation of Tiger King is already in the works — reportedly announced late last year before the docu-series even aired. It is based on the Wonderly podcast Joe Exotic, which focuses on the same story. SNL's Kate McKinnon is attached to play Carole Baskin and executive produce that series, which remains in the early stages of development.
Tiger King set a high bar for Netflix when it premiered on March 20, captivating an audience who was just settling into social distancing at the time. All seven episodes of the show (plus an after-show hosted by Joel McHale interviewing various cast members) are streaming now on Netflix.