The scripted series about “Tiger King’s” Joe Exotic starring Nicolas Cage has been set up at Amazon for development, Variety has learned.
Variety exclusively reported the project was in the works from CBS Television Studios and Imagine Television in May. Amazon Studios has now boarded the project and will produce along with CBS TV Studios and Imagine TV.
The series is is based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild,” by Leif Reigstad. The story centers around Joe Shreibvogel (Cage), a.k.a. Joe Exotic, an eccentric exotic zookeeper in Oklahoma who fights to keep his park — even at the risk of losing his sanity. The series will live in the lion’s den with Joe, explore how he became Joe Exotic, and how he lost himself to a character of his own creation.
CBS TV Studios optioned the article in June of 2019. Dan Lagana will serve as writer, showrunner, and executive producer under his overall deal at CBS TV Studios with Paul Young executive producing via Make Good Content. Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Samie Kim Falvey will executive produce for Imagine. Cage will executive produce via Saturn Films. Scott Brown and Megan Creydt will executive produce for Texas Monthly. Imagine’s James Seidman and Natalie Berkus are overseeing the project for the company.
The role marks the first regular television role of Cage’s career. He has long been praised for his film work, having won the Academy Award for best actor for “Leaving Las Vegas” and getting a nomination in the same category for “Adaptation.” He is also known for his starring roles in films like “Moonstruck,” “Raising Arizona,” “Face/Off,” and the “National Treasure” and “Ghost Rider” films. He also recently lent his voice to the Oscar-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.” His upcoming films include “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and “Pig.”
He is repped by WME, Stride Management, and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher
Should the project get ordered to series, it would be the second scripted series set in the “Tiger King” world to do so. It was announced in August that the untitled series starring Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin has been set up with a multi-platform series order at NBC, Peacock, and USA Network.