Louis Theroux: The Cult of Joe Exotic will see Theroux revisit his 2011 documentary America’s Most Dangerous Pets in which he meets Exotic – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, whilst returning to Oklahoma to explore the Tiger King celebrity’s rise to fame.
With Exotic currently serving a prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot and multiple animal abuse charges, the 90-minute film will follow Theroux as he reflects on hours of unseen footage from the 2011 special, investigates what happened to him over the last 10 years and meets old friends, the team trying to get him out of prison and those closest to Exotic in a bid to understand who he really is.
Speaking about the upcoming series, Theroux said: “This is one of those quintessentially American stories taking place in the heartland of Oklahoma, with a cast of characters almost too colourful and larger-than-life to be believed.
“I spent eight or nine days filming at the park back in 2011, over the course of three separate visits. I’d forgotten how much we shot until I went back into the footage during lockdown. It’s extraordinary how much was there.
“Since then the story just got stranger and bigger, and in going back at the end of last year I uncovered a real-life drama that took me in directions I never could have expected.”
The Cult of Joe Exotic will be Theroux’s 43rd special for BBC Two, aside from his When Louis Met… series (2000-2002) and Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends (1998-2000).
Exotic became one of the most talked-about TV personalities last year after the release of Netflix’s Tiger King, a docuseries looking at the US big cat industry and Exotic’s rivalry with exotic animal activist Carole Baskin.
Louis Theroux: The Cult of Joe Exotic will air on BBC Two in the near future. To find out what to watch this week, check out our TV Guide.