Move over, Nicolas Cage, there’s another “Tiger King” in town! NBCU has found their own Joe Exotic to star opposite Kate McKinnon’s Carole Baskin.
First off, if you’re a bit confused, that’s because Nicolas Cage was, in fact, previously announced to play Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel for an Amazon project. While Amazon’s series has yet to provide a name, a congruent series in the works at NBCU has claimed the apt working title of “Joe Exotic.”
And now we know who’s playing the titular character. Long in development via SNL’s Kate McKinnon, Deadline announced Monday that John Cameron Mitchell will star opposite her as the titular “Joe Exotic”. McKinnon is, of course, set to star as Carole Baskin, as well.
John Cameron Who, you may ask? Mitchell is the co-creator and original star of his hit Broadway musical and resulting film adaptation, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. The multiple Tony Award winning actor currently stars in the HULU comedy “Shrill,” alongside Paramount+’s “The Good Fight.”
Now, he’ll play Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel, the infamous Oklahoma zoo owner who… Well.. have you watched the Netflix documentary series? It’s absolutely unreal.
Tango with the ‘Tiger King’
Speaking to Deadline of his casting, John Cameron Mitchell says he is “thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero. Joe and I are the same age and like him, I grew up queer in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas so I feel like I know a little bit about this guy and his desperate attempt to conquer an inhospitable world,” he continues.
A limited series, Mitchell & McKinnon’s drama series will air on all of NBCU’s TV and streaming services. These include NBC, USA Network, and Peacock. Despite the working title of “Joe Exotic,” however, the series will center on McKinnon’s big cat enthusiast, Carole Baskin. Audiences will witness their big-cat-breeding rivalry unfold through – right through every dangerous, unbelievable twist and turn.
Steven O’Neill, EVP, Casting & Talent Development for UCP, says “It’s clear that an over-the-top character like Joe needed someone very special. We are so excited to have John Cameron Mitchell, an adored icon of the LGBTQ community, take on this compelling role,” he cites to Deadline.
In addition, O’Neill says Mitchell’s “casting speaks to our ongoing vision of universal storytelling… And we can’t wait for our audiences to experience the show.”
You’re definitely not alone there, pal. What a wild story – pun intended. Whether Mitchell or Cage makes the better Tiger King, however… Only time will tell. Time for the Tango of the Two Tiger Kings!