Call it a match made in casting heaven. Actor Nicolas Cage has been tapped to play Joe Exotic, The Tiger King!
The eight-episode series is being produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios. It will be taken to market in the coming days. It is based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild,” by Leif Reigstad.
CBS TV Studios optioned the article in June of 2019. Dan Lagana will serve as writer, showrunner, and executive producer under his overall deal at CBS TV Studios with Paul Young executive producing via Make Good Content. Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Samie Kim Falvey will executive produce for Imagine. Cage will executive produce via Saturn Films. Scott Brown and Megan Creydt will executive produce for Texas Monthly. Imagine’s James Seidman and Natalie Berkus are overseeing the project for the company.
The story centers around Joe Schreibvogel, a.k.a Joe Exotic, an eccentric, exotic zookeeper in Oklahoma who fights to keep his park even at the risk of losing his sanity. The series will live in the lion’s den with Joe, explore how he became Joe Exotic, and how he lost himself to a character of his own creation.
The role marks the first regular television role of Cage’s career.
Based on the docu-series that took Netflix and the cultural zeitgeist by storm, Tiger King, focused on the small but deeply interconnected society of big catconservationists such as Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue, and collectors such as Exotic, whom Baskin accuses of abusing and exploiting wild animals. A special hosted by Joel McHale was released on April 12, 2020, with McHale interviewing several of the stars about Exotic and the series itself.