Nicolas Cage will portray “Tiger King” subject Joe Exotic in an eight-episode scripted series about the now-imprisoned big-cat breeder, TheWrap has learned.
The limited series — which is not to be confused with the Kate McKinnon “Tiger King” scripted show in the works at UCP — hails from Imagine Television and CBS Television Studios. No network or platform is currently attached to the show, working title “Joe Exotic,” but an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap it will be taken to market in the next few days.
The series centers around Joe Shreibvogel (also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage), “an eccentric, exotic zookeeper in Oklahoma who fights to keep his park — even at the risk of losing his sanity,” per its logline. “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 project is based on on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild,” by Leif Reigstad, which “American Vandal” showrunner Dan Lagana and Paul Young optioned the rights to in June of 2019 through Lagana’s overall deal at CBS Television Studios.
Lagana will write and executive produce “Joe Exotic.” Other executive producers include Brian Grazer and Samie Kim Falvey for Imagine, Young for Make Good Content, Cage for Saturn Films, and Scott Brown and Megan Creydt for Texas Monthly.
Imagine’s James Seidman and Natalie Berkus are overseeing the project for Imagine.
Variety first reported the news of the Cage-led series, which comes a little over a month after “Tiger King” launched on Netflix. The docuseries has been a big hit for the streaming service, with Netflix boasting on April 21 that 64 million subscribers had watched the show since its premiere.