'Tiger King' TV Series Casts Nicolas Cage To Play Joe Exotic For 'American Vandal' Showrunner [Updated]

Update: The Wrap reports that Cage has been confirmed to star in this series. Amazon Studios will co-produce it, and the show will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. Our original post from May 4, 2020 follows.Nicolas Cage is in talks to star in the first television show of his career, and you're probably familiar with the role he's set to play.

A new report says Cage will suit up as Joe Exotic, the subject of the wildly popular Netflix documentary series Tiger King, in a new scripted series from the showrunner of Netflix's American Vandal

Variety brings word about Cage's first TV project, which will consist of eight episodes and is being produced by CBS Television Studios and Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's Imagine Television Studios. The show does not have a home yet, but will be taken out to bidders soon in a quest to lock one down. This new series will be based on Leif Reigstad's Texas Monthly article from June 2019 entitled "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild."

Here's what this series will be about:

The story centers around Joe Schreibvogel, a.k.a Joe Exotic, an eccentric, exotic zookeeper in Oklahoma who fights to keep his park even at the risk of losing his sanity. 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.

Joe's backstory is one of the areas the Netflix documentary sort of skimps on because there were simply too many other things to cover. But this show sounds like it's putting blinders on and will be laser-focused on Joe himself instead of turning its lens to the wide range of entertaining peripheral characters in this bizarre story. I find Cage to be an odd choice for this role, but then again, nothing about this situation is conventional. At least this show's extra focus on Joe could allow Cage the opportunity to dig into this character in a deep and meaningful way.

There's no word yet about who else might star, but perhaps the folks involved could take some inspiration from our suggestions for who could appear in a Tiger King movie.

Once the initial weirdness of Cage as Joe wears off, I'm guessing a lot of fans of the Netflix series are going to be wondering exactly how this show is going to treat its subject matter. I'm encouraged by fact that it hails from Dan Lagana, the showrunner of Netflix's American Vandal, because as he showed in that series, he can take something that seems like nothing more than a joke and actually imbue it with some real pathos and surprising depth. Here's hoping he can do the same thing here. Paul Young (Central Intelligence) is executive producing alongside Cage, Grazer, Scott Brown, Megan Creydt, and Samie Kim Falvey.

One last note: this show is not the same one that has Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon starring as Carole Baskin. With multiple Tiger King-related projects now announced, I wouldn't be surprised if there are even more on the way, so stay tuned for updates on all of them here.