Netflix’s Tiger King docu-series took the internet by storm when it dropped earlier this year. The scandalous story of murder, animal abuse, and Joe Exotic seemed ripe for adaptation. And it was, as Nicolas Cage will star as the troubled animal breeder in a new scripted series.
According to Deadline, “The project hails from American Vandal showrunner Dan Lagana, Paul Young (Key & Peele), Imagine Television Studios and CBS TV Studios. The eight-episode limited series will go to market in the next few days.” Many fans of the documentary fancast the cast of real life characters. But no one could have imagined casting someone as perfect as Nic Cage. Interestingly the series will not be based on the documentary that made this story international news, but on an article by Leif Reigstad. “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild” originally ran in Texas Monthly.
It’s not a surprise that the TV adaptation isn’t based directly on the controversial Netflix series. Though Tiger King was a ratings smash, it was far from the first exploration of Joe Exotic. Tiger King also misgendered the one empathetic member of the cast. The series also garnered critique for crafting a mythic figure out of Joe Exotic. First of all, he was an animal abuser. And the doc also features him getting straight young men hooked on meth so they’ll marry him. Basically it’s the sort of story that will be easy to get wrong and harder to get right.
Daniel Grodnik Productions
Luckily, American Vandal is a brilliant calling card. The true crime mockumentary took a premise that should have been ridiculous and made it heartfelt. The second season is still one of the most thoughtful meditations on young people and the internet. That’s extremely wild when you also realize it’s about a bunch of people shitting themselves. So, even though this could be a hot mess, it could be surprisingly great. Especially with Cage attached. Now we just need to see who they’ll cast as Carole Baskin…
Featured Image: Daniel Grodnik Productions