As COVID-19 quarantine procedures officially went into place in March, streaming service Netflix profited as over 30 million people sat down to watch Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The documentary, which released on March 20, tells the story of former zookeeper and current convicted felon Joseph Maldonado-Passage ne Schreibvogel, better known as “Joe Exotic,” and his bitter rivalry with big cat conservationist Carole Baskin.
Following the success of Tiger King, a number of networks optioned series based on the documentary’s events. One, overseen by Dan Lagana (American Vandal) and distributed by Amazon, has been revealed to star actor Nicolas Cage (Raising Arizona, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) in the role of Exotic. The series, which is currently untitled, will focus on Exotic’s past, the creation of his stage persona, and how that persona came to overwhelm his true identity at the cost of his sanity. Cage, who has significant experience playing highly emotional, potentially unhinged characters, seems quite the fitting choice to take on the role.
Lagana developed an interest in Exotic’s story prior to the release of the Netflix documentary series. He first became aware of the man and the controversies surrounding him last year due to a Texas Monthly article entitled “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild” written by Leif Reigstad.
Amazon’s Cage-led series is far from the only show in development dealing with the events covered in Tiger King. Comedian, actor and Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon is producing and starring in a series which will instead focus on Exotic’s rival, Carole Baskin, and strive to tell her side of the story. McKinnon’s show will be released on NBC.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, all of these shows are still early in production. While we’re waiting, fans can enjoy all of Tiger King on Netflix and continue to follow the ongoing story as the now imprisoned Exotic seeks a pardon.