John Cameron Mitchell (The Good Fight, Shrill) will don the mullet wig and handlebar mustache as Joe Exotic in NBCUniversal's Tiger King Limited Series Previously, Saturday Night Live favorite Kate McKinnon had been cast to play Joe's greatest rival, Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin, for the upcoming series. McKinnon will also executive produce alongside series writer Etan Frankel (Sorry for Your Loss, Shameless).
"I'm thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero," John Cameron Mitchell said in a statement on Monday, revealing that he also has a lot in common with the Tiger King star. "Joe and I are the same age, and like him, I grew up queer in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, so I feel like I know a little bit about this guy and his desperate attempt to conquer an inhospitable world."
Tentatively titled as Joe Exotic, the series will follow Kate McKinnon as Carol Baskin, as she "learns that her nemesis Joseph 'Joe Exotic' Maldonado-Passage is breeding and using his big cats for profit. She sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry. But Carole has a checkered past of her own and when the claws come out, Joe will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy. The results prove dangerous,"
The rivalry between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin was chronicled in last year's Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem. Maybe it's because people were forced to start spending more time indoors as a result of the pandemic, but the series was met with incredible success when it was released, quickly becoming one of the streamer's most-watched shows of all time. There was a period where you almost couldn't look in any direction without seeing something Tiger King.
Ultimately, their feud resulted in Joe landing a 22-year prison sentence after allegedly conspiring with a hitman to have Carol Baskin killed. He was also found guilty on multiple animal cruelty charges. During his time in prison, Joe campaigned for Donald Trump to give him a presidential pardon before leaving the White House, but the former president apparently ignored the Tiger King star's request. Exotic has since reportedly switched his focus to plead for clemency with new president Joe Biden and vice president Kamala Harris.
Mitchell isn't the only actor set to play Joe Exotic in a limited series. Nicolas Cage has also been cast to play the former tiger breeder in a scripted series in the works at Amazon. This particular series is based on the Texas Monthly article "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild" by Leif Reigstad. Dan Lagana will serve as writer, showrunner, and executive producer of the project. Like Mitchell's Joe Exotic project, this one doesn't yet have an official release date set.
For now, anyone who has yet to experience the madness that is the feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin can check out the documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem on Netflix. This news comes to us from People.