Amazon to develop Joe Exotic series featuring Nicolas Cage as the 'Tiger King' star
Amazon is pouncing on Nicolas Cage's scripted television project about "Tiger King" star Joe Exotic.
According to Variety, Amazon Studios will produce and develop the scripted series from CBS Television Studios and Imagine TV, which will star the Oscar-winning star as the former Oklahoma zoo operator, big-cat owner and political hopeful known as Joe Exotic.
As previously reported, the planned Amazon series will be based on the Texas Monthly story “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild,” by Leif Reigstad, which CBS TV Studios optioned last summer.
"The series will live in the lion’s den with Joe, explore how he became Joe Exotic, and how he lost himself to a character of his own creation," Variety reports.
According to the trade publication, Dan Lagana ("American Vandal") will serve as writer, showrunner and executive producer under his overall deal at CBS TV Studios, with Paul Young executive producing via Make Good Content. Brian Grazer and Samie Kim Falvey will executive produce for Imagine, and Imagine’s James Seidman and Natalie Berkus will oversee the project for the company.
Cage will executive produce through his Saturn Films, while Scott Brown and Megan Creydt will executive produce for Texas Monthly.
Following up on the previously reported smash success of Netflix's spring docuseries "Tiger King," the as-yet-untitled series will mark Cage's first regular TV role. An Academy Award winner for “Leaving Las Vegas” and Oscar nominee for “Adaptation,” Cage has built a prolific and diverse career as a movie star, with key credits ranging from “Moonstruck” and “Raising Arizona” to the “National Treasure” movies and "Con Air."
As previously reported, Netflix's hit documentary series "Tiger King" chronicles the strange life and murder-for-hire conviction of former Oklahoma zoo operator, big-cat owner and political hopeful Joe Exotic.
As The Oklahoman's Nolan Clay reported, Joe Exotic - whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, but he is also known as Joe Schreibvogel - was sentenced earlier this year to 22 years in federal prison. He was convicted last year of twice hiring someone to kill big cat enthusiast Carole Baskin, a Florida animal sanctuary operator whose nonprofit organization successfully sued him for more than $1 million for trademark infringement and other civil wrongs.
As Nolan now reports, Joe Exotic is asking President Donald Trump in a handwritten letter to listen to the millions "who see the truth" and grant him a miracle — a pardon — so he can return to helping sick children and the homeless.
"Allow me to make you proud, to make America proud, to make the world proud. Be my hero please," he wrote.
If Cage's Joe Exotic project gets ordered to series, it will be the second scripted series based on the strange story of the “Tiger King.” As previously reported, a series starring Emmy winner Kate McKinnon ("Saturday Night Live") last month received an unprecedented straight-to-series order from NBCUniversal. Based on a Wondery podcast, that series, which has the working title "Joe Exotic," will roll out across three different NBC entertainment platforms: broadcast network NBC, new streaming service Peacock and basic cable network USA.