Tiger King fans may see a new series about big cats on Netflix, but it sounds like it will be a world away from Joe Exotic’s Oklahoma zoo.
Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, the filmmakers behind Tiger King, are reportedly working on a follow-up that will spotlight the tragic tiger mauling incident that occurred during a 2003 Siegfried & Roy show, according to a new report by The Hollywood Reporter.
A member of Tiger King‘s production team contacted the outlet to request contact information for Chris Lawrence, the former tiger handler for Siegfried & Roy who was also onstage at the time Roy Horn was attacked by a 400-pound white tiger, Montecore, during a show at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Horn, who was left permanently injured from the attack, passed away last week of coronavirus at age 75.
After requesting Lawrence’s information, it was “suggested” that the Tiger King production team is working on a new episode about the accident that would be “higher-minded” than the original series. Netflix has not confirmed the follow-up.
The original Tiger King was a massive hit, but some critics accused filmmakers of downplaying animal cruelty and instead focusing on Joe Exotic’s tabloid-worthy life and the colorful collection of characters housed at his compound at the G.W. Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
The Siegfried & Roy story would likely give viewers a very different view of the world of big cats used for entertainment — and there is plenty of story for filmmakers to delve into.
It was previously said that Horn may have suffered a stroke on stage and the 400-pound tiger reacted to protect him when the incident took place. As he was being rushed to the hospital, he was said to have begged handlers to ensure that no harm was done to Montecore. The magician claimed the cat actually saved his life by pulling him closer to paramedics after the attack, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
But Lawrence, who suffers from PTSD due to the accident, has gone on record as telling The Hollywood Reporter that there was more behind why the trained cat suddenly attacked Horn. Not only did he blame the entertainer for the attack but he accused the famous Vegas duo of a cover-up.
“Many of the handlers thought that Roy was treating the cats more like props than he was respecting them for who they were,” Lawrence told THR last year. “That can only work as long as there are no variables, which is impossible considering that you’re dealing with a living, thinking animal.”
Siegfried & Roy’s show immediately shut down for good following the attack, and Montecore died in 2014 at the duo’s Secret Garden habitat at the Mirage.
The success of Tiger King has spawned a slew of upcoming projects. Last week, it was reported that Nicolas Cage has been cast as Joe Exotic in a future scripted limited-edition series about the fallen zookeeper. Rob Lowe has also talked about a future Tiger King adaption.