While everyone's stuck at home, binge-watching Netflix has become a national pastime, and the latest obsession has been with Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, a seven-part Netflix documentary series detailing the long-standing rivalry between Joe Exotic (aka Joe Maldonado-Passage aka Joe Shreibvogel), the founder of the G.W. Zoo, and Carol Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue.
What resulted was a long battle of copyright, legal issues, accusations, and finally the arrest of Joe Exotic himself. He's currently serving 22 years in prison for wildlife charges, but his story lives on. While the tiger tale is wild enough in its factual form, a scripted series is in the works, and a certain comedy queen is attached to play "The Mother Teresa of big cats."
What is the Tiger King scripted series called?
The show is an adaptation of the second season of Wondery's podcast Over My Dead Body, which was simply titled Joe Exotic. The show will likely use the same title, though that hasn't been confirmed.
Wondery has capitalized on this newfound Tiger King mania by rereleasing these episodes on streaming services, so you can get a taste of what the series will be like before its release. If you can't wait for the weekly episode releases, all six episodes are available to stream on Wondery's website, but they're behind a paywall.
When is Joe Exotic's release date?
The series was only announced in November, and an official release date has not been confirmed so far. However, new developments in the story and in public interest in the saga may fast-track its production a bit. While there's no network attached to the project at the moment, its production company is owned by NBCUniversal, so perhaps it's bound for soon-to-be-hatched streaming service, Peacock.
Who is developing the Joe Exotic series?
The project is spearheaded by UCP, otherwise known as Universal Content Productions. UCP is no stranger to adapting podcasts for television, as they've released two already: Dirty John and the Emmy-nominated Julia Roberts series Homecoming. Aside from Joe Exotic, they've got one more Wondery podcast adaptation in the works, Dr. Death.
Dr. Death was announced in 2018, and is set to be released on NBC's Peacock streaming service later this year. If this timeline is anything to go by, we may not get to see Joe Exotic until 2021, though the recent spike of interest in the wild story might be a compelling incentive to get the show made sooner.
Who is in the cast of Joe Exotic?
Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon is on board to star and executive produce the series. She'll be playing Carole Baskin, the founder of Miami animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue. Her past is a little murky, as the disappearance of her second husband remains unsolved, so there will be lots of material for McKinnon to shine and show off her dramatic chops.
This leaves the titular role uncast, leaving which actor could best play Joe Exotic up for speculation. The most likely option at the moment seems to be fellow SNL alum David Spade, whose character Joe Dirt was used in reference to Joe Exotic in the Netflix series, not kindly. Perhaps it's time for him to don the mullet once again for something more menacing?
Is there a trailer for Joe Exotic?
There's not a trailer for the television adaptation just yet, but if you're anxious for a taste of what the series will entail, the first episode of the podcast source material is available to listen on YouTube.
Joe Exotic does not yet have a release date.