Nicolas Cage to play 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic in 8-part scripted series for CBS by 'American Vandal' showrunner

Nicolas Cage to play 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic in 8-part scripted series for CBS by 'American Vandal' showrunner
Netflix, Getty Images

Nicolas Cage has been roped in to portray the lead role of Joe Exotic in a new eight-part scripted series to be produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS reports Variety. This comes after the hugely popular Netflix docu-series, 'Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.'

According to insiders, the show in question will delve into the back story of the 'Tiger King,' whose real name is Joe Schreibvogel. It will give the audience an exclusive look into how the Kansas native went on to become the larger than life exotic zookeeper Joe Exotic. The series will also explore the endless battles that Exotic had to fight in order to keep his wildlife park open, Mirror reported. 

The series will also refer to Leif Reigstad’s Texas Monthly article, 'Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild.' The rights of the same were bought by 'American Vandal' showrunner Dan Lagana in June 2019.

The fact that Nicolas Cage will be portraying him also meant that Joe's wish of having actors Brad Pitt or David Spade play him in a biopic will not be fulfilled. Back in April, 'Tiger King' directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin told the Hollywood Reporter that Joe "would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him."

Only “he doesn’t refer to David Spade as David Spade — he refers to him as ‘Joe Dirt,’” said Chaiklin, obviously alluding to the actor's 2001 movie of the same name.  

Joe Exotic (Netflix)

It was also reported that Dax Shepard and Jared Leto were clamoring to play 'Tiger King’s' Joe Exotic in the biopic. On the other hand, most online bettors favored Kevin Bacon in the titular role. 

Meanwhile, the series will be the first television role in Cage's career. He bagged an Academy Award for his role in 1995's 'Leaving Las Vegas' and is best known for starring in numerous memorable movies including 'Adaptation,' 'Moonstruck' and 'Raising Arizona.'

Following for the release of the Netflix series in March, Joe Exotic has attracted a cult following. The zookeeper is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted for animal abuse and being involved in a murder-for-hire plot against Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin, which was chronicled in the smash hit docuseries.

Since he has been kept in coronavirus isolation in FMC Fort Worth, as a precautionary measure, his husband Dillon Passage said in an interview on the SiriusXM series 'Andy Cohen Live' that Exotic hasn’t been able to watch the series while incarcerated. However, he added that his husband had been “ecstatic” over the reaction from viewers and the fact that he “was getting hundreds and hundreds of emails to his jail mail.”

Cage's 'Tiger King' series is not the first scripted show to be announced after the success of the Netflix series. A series based on the Wondery podcast of Exotic is on its way to becoming a reality with 'Saturday Night Live' star Kate McKinnon playing the role of Joe's nemesis Carole Baskin, whom he has accused of killing her first husband. 

Share this article:  Nicolas Cage portrays Joe Exotic 8 part scripted series CBS Netflix hit docuseries Tiger King