Nicolas Cage To Star As Joe Exotic In Upcoming Scripted Series Created By 'American Vandal' Showrunner

Joe Exotic has been the subject of national fascination ever since a docuseries about the eccentric zookeeper's downfall, "Tiger King," premiered.

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Great news for all the cool cats and kittens out there yearning for more “Tiger King”-esqe content: Yet another scripted series based on the Joe Exotic saga is in the works, and this one will star Nicolas Cage. 

The upcoming eight-episode television series, produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios, stems from the 2019 Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild.” In it, Cage will play mulleted tiger owner Exotic in the first television role of his acting career, Variety reports. 

The showrunner of “American Vandal — a 2017 true crime mockumentary about phallic graffiti — Dan Lagana co-optioned the Texas Monthly article last summer, long before the wild success of “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.” The upcoming series will depict how Exotic, whose legal name is currently Joe Maldonado-Passage, morphed into the flamboyant character America loved and hated in “Tiger King." It will also, of course, depict his dramatic downfall from polygamist zookeeper to inmate, Variety reports.

Exotic was found guilty last year of hiring a hitman to kill his longtime rival and animal activist Carole Baskin. He’s currently serving 22 years but claims he was wrongfully convicted. 

While Exotic’s role for the series seems to be set, it’s not yet clear who will play Baskin. However, a big name is already attached to play her in yet another television series being made about the Exotic debacle. A multiple-episode Wondery-produced podcast will soon be a television series starring "Saturday Night Live" comedian Kate McKinnon as Baskin, TVLine reported last year. That project was announced last November and is currently in development at Universal Content Productions, the same studio behind “Dirty John" and "The Act," Deadline previously reported. It’s not clear who will play Exotic in that scripted series. 

Carole Baskin Kate Mckinnon

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