Say It Ain’t So! Why Our Nicolas Cage As Joe Exotic Dreams Are Being Dashed

Nicolas Cage as The Janitor in Willy's Wonderland.

Joe Exotic first came onto the scene in pop culture last year with the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. Since then, multiple projects surrounding the big cat con artist have been planned and entered development, including one starring Nicolas Cage. However, it looks as if our dreams of the prolific actor portraying Joe Exotic have died.

Nicolas Cage has had a wide variety of crazy roles so it wasn't surprising he was set to play Joe Exotic in a new Amazon series that was first announced last year just months after Tiger King’s debut. He recently revealed to Variety that his time as the Tiger King has come and gone, saying:

We should clear the record. I read two excellent scripts, which I did think were excellent, but I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it come together. They felt at one point that it was lightning in a bottle, but that point has since faded into the distance and it’s no longer relevant.

It's not surprising that the series has been shelved, at least for now, although it may be shopped around to other outlets. Tiger King was huge last year during quarantine. Everyone was stuck inside, the lockdown was happening, and Netflix released this docuseries about an over-the-top person with a wild story. It was hyped up for months but then it just died down. At the time it seemed like a great idea to have a show or two about Joe Exotic and his life, but after a year the hype has died down enough that Nicolas Cage won't be playing Exotic for Amazon.

Even though we won’t be seeing Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic on Amazon, the Tiger King is still holding strong on Peacock. Yes, as of now, Peacock’s Joe Exotic TV show is still moving forward, even with a recent change of casting. The already-impressive cast indicates that this series isn’t going anywhere, and it will follow Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin’s years-long feud after Baskin finds out about Exotic’s scam with the big cats. Joe Mitchell and Kate McKinnon are set to star in the new Peacock series, which has yet to get an official premiere date.

With Nicolas Cage’s Joe Exotic series canned, what does this mean for the Peacock series? Despite it seemingly still moving forward, anything can happen, especially since the Tiger King hype was more than a year ago. But I am sad that we’ll never see Cage as the Tiger King, but maybe that can change in the future. A girl can dream, right? For what you can watch sooner rather than later, check out our 2021 summer TV premiere schedule.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.