Nicolas Cage will play Tiger King Joe Exotic in a new TV series
When Tiger King fever peaked last month, you couldn't spend more than a few minutes on social media without seeing someone fan casting the hit Netflix series. Actors like Sam Rockwell to Matthew McConaughey were often named as potential Joe Exotics, while stars like Dax Shepard and Edward Norton even tossed their own hats in the ring to play the now-famous "gay, gun-toting cowboy with a mullet."
But now, an upcoming TV series has cast its Tiger King, and even though the actor they picked wasn't one of the names often considered for the part, they landed on the perfect guy. That's right, Nicolas Cage himself will play Joseph "Joe Exotic" Schriebvogel Maldonado-Passage.
Variety announced that the Leaving Las Vegas Oscar-winner has been cast in an upcoming Tiger King limited series from CBS. And while the Netflix series examined a wide range of of colorful figures from the world of big cat enthusiast world, it seems like this show will focus more closely on Maldonado-Passage himself. According to Variety, it will be based on Texas Monthly's 2019 profile of the now-jailed roadside zookeeper, and will tell the story of how he "fights to keep his park even at the risk of losing his sanity."
The series will mark Cage's first-ever starring TV role, and it's hard to think of a better vehicle for his small-screen debut. Cage, who's described is acting technique as "nouveau shamanic," could be let thoroughly off-leash to play the erratic, big cat-loving, explosives enthusiast. He could even sing the Tiger King's YouTube hits (which is more than can be said for Maldonado-Passage himself.)
Last fall, months before Carole Baskin was a household name, Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon was cast to play the Big Cat Rescue founder and CEO in a limited series. But that's an entirely different Joe Exotic-related TV show—the one McKinnon will appear in is based Wondery's Joe Exotic podcast. There's no word yet on what network will host the Wondery show or when either series will premiere, but it seems that, at some unknown date likely pretty far in the future, we'll all be fully engulfed in the Joe Exotic Cinematic Universe.