Although his time as Tiger King may be well and truly over now, that doesn't mean we have seen the last of the notorious big cat owner Joe Exotic and his on-going battle with Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin. Kate McKinnon is to star as Baskin in the upcoming Peacock series, Joe Exotic, which will dramatize the events of the series Tiger King. The show became a huge hit on Netflix during Covid lockdowns around the world, now as well as a follow-up Netflix series, Peacock is hoping to cash in on the story with their own series which has been shooting since last month.
New photos taken on the set have given a first look at Kate McKinnon in full Carole Baskin getup which were first published by U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail, and there is certainly an uncanny likeness between the real thing and the on-screen counterpart. Of course, the images are not official, but like most on-set photos we are happy to take whatever is offered. These are also probably some of the only shots we will get to see until the official trailer and press release arrive, although we all know that these things have a habit of making their way into the public domain.
Joe Exotic is being written by Etan Frankel, and stars John Cameron Mitchell in the title role. Others involved in the Peacock series are Nat Wolff, Brian Van Holt, Sam Keeley, Lex Mayson, and William Fichtner and Kyle MacLachlan has been most recently cast as Baskin's husband Howard, who can also be seen in the photos. If you didn't know who was playing the part, then you would be hard pushed to recognize the Twin Peaks star with his parted white hair in character.
There is something of a fascination with the story of Joe Exotic and his war with Carole Baskin. While most true crime stories focus on historical cases such as Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy and Charles Manson, but the case of Joe Exotic is very much still a current story that is even now still ongoing, and indeed is why Netflix is proceeding with a follow-up of their series. While the Peacock series will dramatize the events seen so far, there is nothing to say that the limited series couldn't end up returning itself if the story continues to develop in the future.
Joe Exotic is based on the Wonderly podcast and tells of Baskin, a big cat enthusiast who discovers a fellow lover of big cats, Joe "Exotic" Schreibvogel, is breeding and using his big cats to make a huge profit. Baskin makes it her mission to shut down the eccentric zoo owner's venture, which results in a wild and escalating rivalry between the pair, and with both parties have a chequered past, there are no dirty tricks that Joe won't use to get rid of Baskin from his life.
"Our adaptation is gonna be much more personal," John Cameron Mitchell told Entertainment Tonight. "You really get to see them in their lives, with their lovers, so you get more of the emotional, human side as well as the absurd, you know, American insanity that they represent."
Joe Exotic himself is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for falsifying animal records, violating an endangered species and attempting to hire a hitman to take out Carole Baskin. Recently, he was forced to hand over his entire property to Baskin as part of a legal settlement, and she subsequently sold on the land to new owners with the strict stipulation that it will not be used to house animals in the future and cannot be used to profit from its previous owner in any way.
Joe Exotic comes to Peacock next year, while Tiger King 2 will go to Netflix.