Nicolas Cage Set To Star As Joe Exotic In ‘Tiger King’ Scripted Series & Fans Say He’s The ‘Purrfect’ Choice

The small screen is getting a new Tiger King: Nicolas Cage! The 'Ghost Rider' star, famous for his leading roles in movies, is making a unique career move by switching to TV to play Joe Exotic in an 'eight-episode series.'

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If you’ve already binged Tiger King on Netflix, get ready for an exciting follow-up. An “eight-episode series” about Joe Exotic (real name Joe Schreibvogel) is being produced, and Nicolas Cage, 56, is taking on the starring role of the king of tigers himself, according to our sister publication Variety! The television show will be a joint effort between Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios and “will be taken to market in the coming days,” the outlet reported on May 4. HollywoodLife has reached out to Nicolas’ rep for comment.

Surprisingly, the hit Netflix docuseries isn’t the inspiration behind this new project — rather, a Texas Monthly article called “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild” that journalist Leif Reigstad published in June of 2019. CBS TV Studios reportedly optioned the article that very same month. As for how this show will differentiate from Tiger King (asides from being a live action adaptation), the show puts the spotlight on Joe’s fight to keep his Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and will also “explore how he became Joe Exotic” and “lost himself to a character of his own creation,” according to Variety.

Fans think the casting choice was “purrfect” (a perfect choice of words from journalist Matthew Garrahan). Many other fans agreed, because Nicolas’ name soon began to trend on Twitter! “Nicolas Cage is playing Joe Exotic and I’m so utterly here for it,” Drake & Josh star Josh Peck tweeted on Monday. “I CANNOT wait for this,” another fan tweeted, while a different fan wrote, “My whole life has led to this moment. 2020 may yet be saved.” Of course, the outcries on Twitter couldn’t be ignored — some fans insisted this role should’ve instead gone to David Spade. “I f–king LOVE that David Spade is trending because he DIDN’T get cast to play Joe Exotic and people are outraged by this injustice,” one fan tweeted, pointing out the controversy.

Dan Lagana (showrunner of American Vandal) will take creative control as this series’ writer, showrunner and executive producer. Nicolas will also executive produce through his production company, Saturn Films. Meanwhile, the real life Joe Exotic is carrying out a 22-year prison sentence in MC Forth Worth in Texas. The controversial zookeeper was indicted in Jan. 2020 on two counts of murder-for-hire, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act (Joe was accused of falsifying wildlife records) and nine counts of violating he Endangered Species Act.