The Tiger King hype may have died down since it first hit our socially-distanced screens in March last year, but the big cat drama and wild conspiracy theories aren’t going away any time soon. Like Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin themselves, two upcoming TV shows are facing off to tell the big cat tale with the help of some A-list stars.
First, there’s Peacock’s Joe Exotic, adapted from the Wondery podcast of the same name, which follows Baskin’s attempts to shut down the titular Tiger King’s zoo, after she learns that he’s breeding his big cats for profit.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the story (how?), the effort was ultimately successful: the Oklahoma-based G.W. Zoo officially shut down for good last year. Exotic, meanwhile, is still serving a 22-year jail sentence for animal abuse and hiring a hitman to murder Baskin (despite his belief that he’d receive a presidential pardon from Donald Trump).
Sam Keeley and Nat Wolff have also recently joined the cast, as Exotic’s former partners John Finlay and Travis Maldonado, alongside Brian Van Holt as G.W. Zoo employee (and rare voice of reason) John Reinke.
A second Tiger King series has also been in the works for some time, with Nicolas Cage lined up to play the zookeeper and problematic king of wild style. Based on a 2019 Texas Monthly story about Exotic, the Cage-starring version has landed at Amazon Prime, and is expected to run for eight episodes.
Kate McKinnon is the previously-announced face of Carole Baskin in Peacock’s retelling, while Exotic (real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage) will be portrayed by John Cameron Mitchell. Now, Dennis Quaid has also entered the mix as Rick Kirkham (producer of the OG Tiger King reality series, very meta).