In the latest edition of casting choices you never knew you needed, 30 Rock and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Dean Winters has signed on to play Jeff Lowe in Peacock's upcoming Tiger King series. The idea of Winters as the backstabbing, big cat collecting oddball is so perfect in fact that the actor could well end up portraying Jeff Lowe even better than Jeff Lowe himself.
Since the huge success of Netflix's documentary series, Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem, various studios have not been able to put scripted dramatizations into production quick enough, with Peacock's adaptation just one of several due to be released. Winters joins the series, which is currently titled Joe Exotic, alongside SNL favorite and Ghostbusters star Kate McKinnon, who will play Carole Baskin, and GLOW's John Cameron Mitchell, who will play Joe Exotic. It was also recently announced that Brian Van Holt will play John Reinke, Sam Keeley will play John Finlay, Natt Wolff will play Travis Maldonado, and Dennis Quaid will play Rick Kirkham.
Rather than focus on the central figure of Tiger King, the series will instead follow 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 the two eccentrics was chronicled in Netflix's hugely successful Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem, which delves into the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, focusing on Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country-western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Charismatic but misguided, Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen, and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats, and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner. But things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe's arrest for a murder-for-hire plot, and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner.
Jeff Lowe entered the series as an accomplice and friend to Joe Exotic, promising to help him keep his controversial zoo through investing and assisting with the upkeep, as well as saying he would help him bring down Baskin. Sadly, no one is to be trusted in the cut-throat world of big cat ownership, and Lowe was quick to betray Exotic, taking over his zoo before being accused by the US government of cruelty to animals.
"Joe Exotic is shaping up to be a bold and provocative drama and perfectly suited for Peacock, where we can push the envelope and truly bring the story to life in a way that we would be unable to do on broadcast television," Susan Rovner, chairman of entertainment content for NBCUniversal Television revealed. "Moving Joe Exotic to Peacock exclusively is just one example of the strengths of our new structure, which gives us the ability to let the art dictate the platform and not the other way around."
Joe Exotic does not yet have a release date but will stream exclusively on Peacock. This comes to us from Deadline.