Nicolas Cage Is Playing Joe Exotic In Scripted 'Tiger King' Series

Nicolas Cage Is Playing Joe Exotic In New Scripted 'Tiger King' Series
Michael Kovac/Getty and Netflix

In a turn of on-the-nose casting we didn’t see coming, Nicolas Cage will star in a Tiger King scripted series

Ever since Netflix dropped Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness back in March, the internet has been abuzz about the mind-blowing docuseries. And a huge part of that internet fodder has been casting — who would play Joe Exotic and the rest of the colorful cast of characters if (or, let’s be real, when) the reality show spawned a scripted version? Well, now we’ve got our answer. According to Variety, Nicolas Cage is set to star in a scripted mini-series that centers on Tiger King’s controversial center: Mr. Exotic himself.

Amazingly, it will mark the first episodic television role in Cage’s nearly 40-year screen career. And, c’mon, what better way for him to make his mark on the small screen than with such a complex, captivating, polarizing character? Besides, it’s not as though he’s a stranger to playing men with questionable hair and strong accents. This casting news is already giving us Con-Air flashbacks (“Put the bun-nay in the box.”)

Per Variety, the new series will give fans a more in-depth look at the world of Joe Schreibvogel, aka Joe Exotic. Based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild,” the adaptation will “live in the lion’s den with Joe” — exploring how the eccentric zookeeper came to adopt his infamous persona.

You’re obviously wondering when you might be able to set your DVR to see Cage transform into the mullet-wearing, eyebrow-ring-dangling Joe Exotic. As of right now, there is no date to tell. The eight-episode series will be taken to market in the coming days. And with the current coronavirus pandemic keeping everything in a holding pattern, it’s unclear when anything will resume filming.

Still, there are a lot of things going for this adaptation. The most obvious, of course, is the wild popularity of the original. But this mini-series also boasts an impressive production team — writer, showrunner, and executive producer Dan Lagana is known for the Emmy-nominated mockumentary American Vandal.

So, it seems like a safe bet that Cage’s small-screen metamorphosis into Joe Exotic will be stirring up more “Did Carole Baskin kill her husband?” dialogue before we know it.