Anyone familiar with Nicolas Cage’s acting work knows that the man has picked some… interesting roles over the years, and with such roles have come equally interesting performance choices. Okay, let’s not mince words, the man can be downright weird on screen sometimes, but that’ll be to his advantage for an upcoming project, as he’s been tapped to play Joe Exotic, who was one of the main players of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King.
Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios are joining forces for an eight-episode scripted series based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild,” by Leif Reigstad. As Variety reported, this series will follow Nicolas Cage’s Joe Exotic, real name Joe Schreibvogel, fighting to keep his animal park “even at the risk of losing his sanity,” as well as delve into how he built the Joe Exotic persona and “lost himself to a character of his own creation.”
Chances are most, if not all of you reading this have watched Tiger King on Netflix, or have at least heard about the insane events it chronicles. However, on the off chance the name Joe Exotic hasn’t crossed your radar over the last couple months, he once operated the G.W. Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and is currently serving a federal prison sentence not just for numerous violations of the Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act, but because he was convicted of hiring someone to kill Carole Baskin, who operates Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.
Of all the actors to be hired to play Joe Exotic, Nicolas Cage is an inspired choice. Fingers crossed he’ll be able to properly replicate, or at least come as close as possible to pulling off Exotic’s eccentricities and mannerisms, as shown off in the below video:
Outside of hosting Saturday Night Live twice, this Joe Exotic series will mark Nicolas Cage’s first major television project, having spent decades leaving his mark on the film world with content like Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off, National Treasure and Color Out of Space. Cage’s upcoming movies include Pig, Wally’s Wonderland and The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent, the latter of which will see Cage playing an exaggerated version of himself.
This Joe Exotic series is being taken to market in the coming days. Since it’s eight episodes, I imagine that means it’ll end up on either a premium cable channel or a streaming service, with CBS All Access being a logical choice in the latter category since CBS Television Studios is involved. American Vandal’s Dan Lagana, who optioned Leif Reigstad’s article with Paul Young, will serve as writer, showrunner, and executive producer, while Young will executive produce through Make Good Content.
It’s also worth mentioning that this isn’t the only scripted series in the works connected to the events explored in Tiger King. SNL’s Kate McKinnon has been tapped to play Carole Baskin in an adaptation of the Wondery podcast “Joe Exotic,” which the actress will also executive produce. Rob Lowe also revealed early last month that he was in talks with American Horror Story’s Ryan Murphy to make a film or limited series about Joe Exotic, which would star Lowe in the central role.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates concerning the Nicolas Cage-led Joe Exotic series and any other major news in the Tiger King sphere. For now, keep track of what’s currently on the airwaves with our handy TV schedule.