So it was only a matter of time before a film studio set their sights on the stranger-than-fiction story for a rendition on the silver screen – and now the time has come.
Yes, according to sources, 20th Century Fox are calling dibs on the film adaptation, for which production will commence after coronavirus lockdown.
And apparently, they already have the perfect Joe Exotic in mind: Orlando Bloom.
An insider told The Sun: “All filming is on lockdown at the moment but the studios are exploring projects they can get going on as soon as possible and they think Tiger King is the perfect story.
“Discussions about a movie have only just started but they believe the idea has legs, especially if they get a big star like Orlando on board. They think he could really bring Joe to life on screen.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor might be 20th Century Fox’s ideal candidate, but the Tiger King himself has other ideas.
According to documentary filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaikin, who have spoke to the show’s star from prison, Joe sees Brad Pitt as a better fit.
“He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him,” Rebecca told The Hollywood Reporter.
That’s such a Joe thing to say.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness tells the story of Joseph Maldonado-Passage – aka Joe Exotic – a mulleted, gun-toting, polygamist and prolific big cat breeder who ran a zoo in Oklahoma.
Told through a mix of archival and new footage, we learn about the big cat subculture in America and its key players, focusing on the eccentric Maldonado-Passage who became somewhat of a local celebrity, even unsuccessfully running for state governor and President of the United States.
But dark plots were bubbling under the surface. In January this year, Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 years in prison for two murder-for-hire plots against his longtime critic and rival, animal rights activist Carole Baskin, as well as multiple wildlife violations.
It is the events that lead up to this – and the countless conspiracies and twists that pervade the big cat world – that are explored in the bizarre Netflix documentary.
While it might be a while until we head to the cinema to watch Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin fight it out, there’s a lot to keep us going in the mean time.
According to one of the show’s stars Jeff Lowe, Netflix is adding a bonus episode of the doc next week.
Though it hasn’t been confirmed by Netflix, the big cat owner is convinced it’s happening, so our TK obsessed selves are latching on to that news with everything we have.
Otherwise, if it doesn’t happen – because hey, it’s coming from a man who smuggled baby tigers into Las Vegas casinos in a suitcase – sit tight, because there could be a whole other series on the way.
“I mean, yes, we have a crazy amount of footage and it’s a story that’s still unfolding,” co-director Rebecca Chaiklin told Entertainment Weekly.
“We’re not sure yet, but there could be a follow-up on this story because there’s a lot that’s still unfolding in it, and it’ll be just as dramatic and just as colourful as what has unfolded these past few years.”
Until then, you could tune into the Joe Exotic: Tiger King podcast. According to Radio Times, it was the podcast which first attracted Tiger King filmmakers to the case and it’s currently being re-released in light of the Netflix series’ success.
There’s also said to be a limited series in the works, (again) based on the Joe Exotic: Tiger King podcast, by Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon and Universal Content Productions.
First reported last year, McKinnon is reportedly set to play Big Cat Sanctuary owner Carol Baskin in the mini series.
Until then, why not get some OG Joe Exotic content down you? BBC iPlayer is now streaming a Louis Theroux documentary from nine years ago, America’s Most Dangerous Pets, which features the man himself.
We’re set for weeeeeeks.
News sourced from: Tyla