Hey all you cool cats and kittens, do we have a list for you
If you haven’t already seen Netflix’s Tiger King, you’re in for a wild ride. The seven-part docuseries about the world of big cat owners has proved catnip for our self-isolated brains, shooting to the top of Netflix’s Top 10 list this week. Even Cardi B is gagged.
The stranger-than-fiction show centres on the proprietor of Oklahoma’s GW Exotic Animal Park, and problematic style icon, Joe Exotic, who’s described as a “mulleted, gun-toating polygamist and country western singer”, and his nemesis Carole Baskin, owner of a big cat sanctuary.
Without giving too much away, the series follows Joe’s journey from big cat enthusiast to sequin-draped local celebrity and 2016 presidential candidate, to his hubristic downfall, when he’s arrested for exploiting his animals and allegedly hiring a hitman to take out Baskin, who he claims killed her ex husband.
With all the lions, tigers, and murder plots, it’s unsurprising that the show’s been picked up for a fictional adaptation, with Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon cast as the infamous Carole Baskin. But reality aside, we’ve rounded up a fantasy list of actors we think should be on the call list. Enjoy.
THE SAFDIE BROTHERS, DIRECTORS
Did you notice that Uncut Gems filmmaker Josh Safdie worked on Tiger King? According to the Safdie brothers’ Twitter, the pair worked on Tiger King co-director Eric Goode’s turtle sanctuary “for a few years”, before apparently travelling down to Florida to help with the documentary. Given the batshit crazy plotline, it’s only fitting that the brains behind the most “cocaine-fuelled” film of this year so far take the reins on this one.
IGGY POP, JOE EXOTIC AKA. THE TIGER KING
As the peroxide blonde-mulleted, baby tiger-clutching, sequin shirt-wearing hero of our story, we figured who better to play him than the peroxide blonde godfather of punk himself, Iggy Pop. Of course, the former Stooges frontman would have to wear a shirt for once, but if it’s hot pink and covered in leopard print, we think it could work. Also, those diss tracks would absolutely bang.
LISA KUDROW, CAROLE BASKIN
Reaching next level crazy cat lady, Carole Baskin is the (alleged) husband-killing founder of Big Cat Rescue, and the greedy villain of our story. We’re aware that this role’s already been filled, but allow us to entertain ourselves (we’ve got a lot of time on our hands these days). Lisa Kudrow screams Carole Baskin, and we would want nothing more than to see her claw her way to the top of the Big Five.
TOM HARDY, JOHN FINLAY
It can’t be easy being married to the Tiger King, but ex husband John Finlay gives it a good go, albeit cheating on Joe with the zoo receptionist and getting her pregnant along the way. Anyhow, we can totally see Tom Hardy as the shirtless, tattoo-covered, tooth-missing first lover of this story. Tom, if you’re reading this, take notes.
NOAH CENTINEO, TRAVIS MALDONADO
Travis Maldonado is a young, bright-eyed boy from southern California with a fresh face and, apparently, massive hands. First entering the GW Exotic Animal Park at the age of 19, Maldonado, who identifies as straight, is quickly pounced on by Joe, who marries both Maldonado and John Finlay in a three-way ceremony. Given Maldonado is 180 pounds of pure hunk, we figured who better to play this role than internet heartthrob Noah Centineo.
BRAD PITT, ERIK COWIE
The head zookeeper at GW, Erik Cowie is the long-haired beach bro who ultimately testified against Joe Exotic at the March 2019 trial. There’s definitely a hint of Brad Pitt circa Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and True Romance in Cowie’s demeanor, so we’re rooting for this cameo to happen.
WILLEM DAFOE, JEFF LOWE
As the shady AF investor (or conman, depending on who you ask) who takes over Joe’s zoo after a Carole Baskin lawsuit threatens it going bust, we think Willem Dafoe, a natural character actor (reference: The Florida Project, The Lighthouse with Robert Pattinson), would be a perfect match. We’d love to see Dafoe and his swinger wife (preferably played by Black Mirror’s Bryce Dallas Howard) wreak havoc on Joe’s dreams.
TROYE SIVAN, DILLON PASSAGE
The most recent husband, Joe marries 22-year-old Dillon a few months after Travis’ untimely death at the hands of his own shotgun. The two meet through an online chatroom and move to Florida after the fallout with Jeff Lowe over Joe’s embezzlement of governor campaign funds. This is a minor role but we’re sure Troye can live up to the mark. Oh my, my, my!
POST MALONE, ALLEN GLOVER
Ex-con Allen Glover clearly gives zero fucks when it comes to throwing other people under the bus, especially when it comes to colluding with federal agents or planning to murder big cat park owners. While Post Malone doesn’t scream cold-blooded killer, he can give us attitude when he wants. Plus, the comedy of this friendly, tattooed teddy bear rapper playing the blank-faced Glover would be priceless.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, BHAGAVAN “DOC” ANTLE
The extremely problematic leader of Myrtle Beach Safari owner, Bhagavan “Doc” Antle is the owner of the most successful private zoo in America, which also appears to operate as a cult, where women who work there are kept in horse stall-like accommodations, forced to change their names (often to Asian or Hindu-sounding names like Ranjnee, Moksha, and China), and pressured into undergoing breast enlargement procedures. Erm, right.
If anyone could do this role justice, it would be Matthew McConaughey via The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club (with a pinch of Beach Bum).
SETH ROGEN, CAMPAIGN MANAGER
As the sole voice of reason is this messy chasm of chaos is the campaign manager, Seth Rogen is the campaign manager. End of story. *Inhales vape pen*
ALESSANDRO MICHELE, COSTUME DESIGNER
Morals aside, it’s undeniable that Joe Exotic is a one man lewk machine with a passion for fashion, and what better man to embody his brightly-patterned, flamboyant style than Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, whose surreal designs seem to evoke Joe’s very own flights of fantasy.