Tiger King drama starring Nicolas Cage as Joe Exotic picked up by Amazon

The streaming giant bought the project from CBS for development as a drama series.

Nicholas Cage

Amazon Prime Video has bought the Nicolas Cage-starring Tiger King drama for development from CBS Television Studios and Imagine Entertainment, days after the Carole Baskin drama starring Kate McKinnon was announced at NBC, USA Network and streaming network Peacock.


Cage will play Joe Exotic in the Tiger King drama, which is based on the hit Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness about the battle between two wild cat sanctuaries in Oklahoma.

Joe Exotic, the Tiger King of the title, is in prison on a 22-year sentence, convicted of conspiracy to murder his rival, Baskin, proprietor of the Big Cat Sanctuary.

The Netflix docuseries became a global phenomenon during lockdown, scoring 34.3 million unique viewers in the first 10 days of its release, from March 20-29, according to Nielsen.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

While Joe Exotic languishes in the clink, Baskin is about to compete in Dancing with the Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing.

The Amazon drama is based on a 2019 Texas Monthly story about Joe Exotic AKA Joe Schreibvogel, Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild, about how he managed to build a private zoo in Oklahoma and his feuds with Carole Baskin and his former business partner Jeff Lowe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon’s version of the story will revolve around Schreibvogel (Cage), an eccentric zookeeper in Oklahoma who fights to keep his park, even at the risk of losing his sanity.

Cage’s history of playing characters living on the edge of reality is seemingly perfectly suited for the role in which he will live in the lion’s den as Joe, explore how Schreibvogel became Joe Exotic, and how Joe lost himself to a character of his own creation.

The Cage drama was first revealed in May, when producers took it out to market.


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