Nicolas Cage Cast As Joe Exotic In Limited Series About ‘Tiger King’ Zoo Owner

Nicolas Cage will play Joe Exotic in an upcoming scripted television series about the controversial Tiger King.

The eight-episode limited series, based on the life of the 57-year-old protagonist of the blockbuster Netflix documentary as told through a 2019 Texas Monthly story, will also be executive produced by Cage, according to a new report by Variety.

Cage is known for his film work, which dates back to the early 1980s. The Oscar-winning actor has starred in the films Leaving Las Vegas, Moonstruck, Raising Arizona, and many more. The Joe Exotic project marks his first-ever role in a television series.

Cage has been in talks to play the lead role in the upcoming series since last month, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The sure-to-be hot project will be shopped to potential networks soon.

The upcoming TV series will follow Joseph Schreibvogel’s fight to keep his doomed big animal park and will explore how the eccentric zookeeper “became” the character Joe Exotic and ultimately lost everything. Viewers of the Tiger King documentary know that Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence amid charges of animal abuse and an alleged murder-for-hire plot against his longtime foe, big cats-rights activist Carole Baskin.

Last year, a Texas Monthly article by Leif Reigstad went into detail about how Schreibvogel built his controversial zoo in Oklahoma, and it touched on his ongoing feuds with Baskin and fellow big cat owner Jeff Lowe.

It is unclear who else will be cast in the upcoming series or which other “characters” from Exotic’s bizarre world will be portrayed besides Lowe and Baskin. The jailed zookeeper’s 23-year-old husband, Dillon Passage, recently told People that he thinks Zac Efron should play him in an adaption of the Netflix series.

“I mean, I’ve been asked this question multiple times,” Passage told the outlet, per The Daily Mail. “Blue eyes, dark hair, good-looking. I mean, what else can I say?”

As for Joe Exotic, the real-life Tiger King has his own ideas about who should play him in any upcoming projects about his life.

Tiger King co-director Rebecca Chaiklin previously told The Hollywood Reporter, “He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him… He doesn’t refer to David Spade as David Spade — he refers to him as ‘Joe Dirt.'”

The Cage project marks the second scripted series that will focus on players in the Tiger King world. Saturday Night Live alum Kate McKinnon will play Exotic’s nemesis, Carole Baskin, in a potential series based on the “Joe Exotic” podcast.

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