Joe Exotic series taps John Cameron Mitchell to play jailed Tiger King star opposite Kate McKinnon


The upcoming Tiger King scripted series has found its star.

John Cameron Mitchell, 57, is set to don a bleached mullet and glittering animal print tops as in the limited series as controversial zoo owner turned convicted felon, Joe Exotic, according to Deadline on Monday. 

Mitchell – who is most famous for starring in the film adaptation of the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch – will play opposite SNL alum Kate McKinnon, 37, as foil Carole Baskin. 

Tiger King: John Cameron Mitchell, 57, is set to star as controversial zoo owner turned convicted felon, Joe Exotic, in an upcoming limited series for NBCU according to Deadline on Monday

‘I’m thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero,’ Mitchell told Deadline. 

Adding: ‘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.’  

The true story, which is based off a Wondery-produced podcast series, focused on how the feud between zoo operator Joe ‘Exotic’ Schreibvogel and Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue.   

‘It’s clear that an over-the-top character like Joe needed someone very special,’ said Steven O’Neill, EVP, Casting & Talent Development, UCP. ‘We are so excited to have John Cameron Mitchell, an adored icon of the LGBTQ community, take on this compelling role. His casting speaks to our ongoing vision of universal storytelling, and we can’t wait for our audiences to experience the show.’

'I'm thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero,' Mitchell told Deadline.

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.'

‘I’m thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero,’ Mitchell told Deadline.

Mitchell will star opposite comic Kate McKinnon who had previously been cast as Carole Baskin. The Ghostbusters star will also executive produce.

The limited series will debut on NBCU’s broadcast network NBC, cable network USA Network and new streaming service Peacock in what Deadline previously called, ‘an unprecedented rollout.’ 

The casting of Mitchell as the felonious Joe Exotic might come as a disappointment to Joe himself who previously expressed a desire for either Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him. 

Much like both the Wondery podcast and the Netflix docuseries the scripted project will focus on the rivalry between Baskin and Joe Exotic. 

Nemisis: Mitchell will star opposite comic Kate McKinnon who had previously been cast as Carole Baskin. The Ghostbusters star will also executive produce

Nemisis: Mitchell will star opposite comic Kate McKinnon who had previously been cast as Carole Baskin. The Ghostbusters star will also executive produce

Hey, all you cool cats and kittens: The true story, which is based off a Wondery-produced podcast series, focused on how the feud between zoo operator Joe 'Exotic' Schreibvogel and Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue (pictured)

Hey, all you cool cats and kittens: The true story, which is based off a Wondery-produced podcast series, focused on how the feud between zoo operator Joe ‘Exotic’ Schreibvogel and Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue (pictured)

The NBCU limited series is one of two major dramas being produced based on Tiger King – the second through Amazon Studios. 

Carole Baskin has spoken out since the news that Kate McKinnon would be donning her tiger print caftans and flower crowns on screen and the 59-year-old expressed her desire for the producers not to use real tigers in the filming. 

‘We hope McKinnon has a passion for animals and that her series will focus on the horrible lives captive big cats lead when exploited by breeders like Joe Exotic,’ Carole told TMZ.

Preference: The casting of Mitchell as the felonious Joe Exotic might come as a disappointment to Joe himself who previously expressed a desire for either Brad Pitt or David Spade (pictured) to play him

Preference: The casting of Mitchell as the felonious Joe Exotic might come as a disappointment to Joe himself who previously expressed a desire for either Brad Pitt or David Spade (pictured) to play him

‘We further hope she urges the public to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act that would end the cub petting abuse in America,’ her statement concluded. 

Netflix’s seven-episode Tiger King documentary series launched on March 20, and has quickly become a hot topic of conversation on social media.

The series centers on the eccentric Joe Exotic, described as a, ‘mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo.’

The show follows his rivalry with Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary threatening to put Joe Exotic out of business.

The rivalry eventually leads to Joe’s arrest in a murder-for-hire plot to kill Baskin, along with 17 charges of animal abuse.

Juggernaut: Netflix's seven-episode Tiger King documentary series follows Joe's rivalry with Carole Baskin which eventually leads to Joe's arrest in a murder-for-hire plot to kill Baskin, along with 17 charges of animal abuse

Juggernaut: Netflix’s seven-episode Tiger King documentary series follows Joe’s rivalry with Carole Baskin which eventually leads to Joe’s arrest in a murder-for-hire plot to kill Baskin, along with 17 charges of animal abuse



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