Actor Nicolas Cage has been cast to portray self-styled “Tiger King” Joe Exotic in a forthcoming scripted TV series, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

It will be the first time Cage has taken on a role in a TV series. The eight-episode series is being produced by CBS Television Studios and Imagine Television, and is based on a Texas Monthly story about Joe Exotic published in 2019.

The article by Leif Reigstad was optioned by “American Vandal” showrunner Dan Lagana and Paul Young in June 2019. The Netflix’s documentary series “Tiger King” became a word-of-mouth phenomenon once it debuted in March 2020.

The Texas Monthly story details how Joe Schreibvogel built his private zoo in Wynnewood and his feuds with Jeff Lowe and Carole Baskin, both of whom are prominently featured in “Tiger King.”

The Hollywood Reporter story said the scripted project, currently titled “Joe Exotic,” will “center on Joe Exotic as he fights to keep his animal park even at the risk of losing his sanity. It will explore how Joe became Joe Exotic and how he lost himself to a character of his own creation.”

CBS TV Studios and Imagine are taking the show out to potential buyers soon, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Cage has had a wide-ranging career, including a major role in the film version of Tulsa author S.E. Hinton’s novel “Rumble Fish,” which was filmed in Tulsa by director Francis Ford Coppola.

He earned the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in 1995’s “Leaving Las Vegas.” His other films include the “National Treasure” and “Ghost Rider” franchises, the comedy “Raising Arizona,” the 9/11 drama “World Trade Center” and the thrillers “Con Air” and “The Rock.”


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James D. Watts Jr.

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