Here's when the Tiger King miniseries starring Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic is out

By Alex Nelson
Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 11:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 11:59 am

Tiger King has been one of Netflix’s biggest smash-hit phenomena in recent years.

Releasing just as the world headed into coronavirus-triggered lockdown, the eight-part documentary series told the story of eccentric wildlife breeder and Oklahoma zoo owner Joe Exotic before his arrest.

Packed with eccentricity and unbelievable events, just when you thought the show had reached peak weirdness, a new episode packed with stranger-than-fiction twists unravelled, leaving viewers gripped with jaws firmly on the floor.

It proved such a hit, that just a few weeks after its debut, it's been announced that Nicolas Cage is set to play Exotic in a new dramatised adaptation of the story.

Here’s everything we know so far:

What will the dramatisation be about?

The adaptation will obviously tell the story of Joe Exotic, but it’s technically not a dramatised version of the Netflix documentary.

Instead, it is based on an article published in Texas Monthly, titled ‘Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into The World Of A Man Gone Wild’, by Leif Reigstad.

Exotic said his first choice to play him would be Brad Pitt, not Cage.

The 56-year-old won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of an alcoholic Hollywood writer in 1995's Leaving Las Vegas.

Known for his distinctive acting style, other Cage roles include The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air and National Treasure.

Cage will also serve as an executive producer on the eight-episode series (his first television project) which is set to be written by Dan Lagana, who previously worked on Netflix’s hilarious Making A Murderer spoof, American Vandal.

When will it be released?

It’s very early days in the production of the adaptation, and so there’s no real word on where or when we might see the finished product on our screens.

The series is being produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios, and is still yet to be offered to TV networks and streaming platforms.

Then there’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is cancelling or severely delaying the production of new films and TV projects the world over.

It could be a while before we see this one. If we had to take a guess, we’d say late 2021 at the earliest.

What is Tiger King?

If you’ve yet to experience Tiger King for yourself, let us get you up to speed.

Spoilers abound for the series ahead, but even if you know what happens, it’s still worth a watch to see how it all gets there.

Though Joe Exotic is the show’s chief focus, Big Cat Rescue founder and animal rights activist Carole Baskin is rarely far from the limelight, due to the eccentric Exotic’s hell-bent grudge against his long-term rival.

Viewers have been left divided on Baskin, who is presented as the chief opposition to the show’s, for want of a better word, protagonist, Joe Exotic.

In the seven-episode series she is accused of killing her own husband and is the subject of a relentless smear campaign by an increasingly unhinged Exotic.

The eccentric loose-cannon drives the story with his erratic and reckless behaviour which culminates in his arrest; the zookeeper was subsequently sentenced to 22 years in a federal prison for murder for hire and federal wildlife charges.

Since Tiger King’s release Baskin has been critical of Netflix and the Sheriff in charge of missing persons case for her former husband has appealed for new leads.

The Netflix series led to a worldwide reaction, with even President Donald Trump chiming in on the case (he said he would "look at" pardoning Exotic, but had not seen the series).

TV producer Rick Kirkham said Exotic would be unable to "forgive and forget" if he was freed early.

Speaking during an interview with All Things Live, he said: "He is where he belongs... because I am telling you, when he gets out he is going to go for revenge.

"He would not just come out and go, 'Hey, I'm a new man'. He would come out and he would go for revenge."