Nicolas Cage is taking on the role of Joe Exotic, the star of Netflix’s hit docuseries ‘Tiger King.’
In the first TV role of his career, Cage will play Joe in an eight-episode scripted series from CBS Television Studios and Imagine Television. It’s based on a Texas Monthly story published in 2019.
American Vandal showrunner Dan Lagana, who has an overall deal at CBS TV Studios, and Paul Young optioned the article in June 2019, well before Tiger King became a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Cage had been in talks to play the lead role since April. CBS TV Studios and Imagine are taking the show out to potential buyers soon.
The Texas Monthly story by Leif Reigstad details how Joe Schreibvogel built his private zoo in Oklahoma and his feuds with Jeff Lowe and Carole Baskin, both of whom are prominently featured in Tiger King. The scripted project, currently titled Joe Exotic, will center on Joe as he fights to keep his animal park even at the risk of losing his sanity. It will explore how Joe became Joe Exotic and how he lost himself to a character of his own creation.
Lagana will serve as writer and showrunner and executive produce with Young of Make Good Content, Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Samie Kim Falvey, Cage (via his Saturn Films) and Scott Brown and Megan Creydt of Texas Monthly. Imagine’s James Seidman and Natalie Berkus are overseeing the project.
We never would’ve guessed Nicholas Cage would take this role, but hey. It’s a new day!