The truth about the Tiger King spin-off series

If you haven’t watched Netflix’s sudden docuseries hit Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, what have you been doing with your time? Released in March 2020, the story follows Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel, the owner of an exotic animal park in Oklahoma and his feud against his nemesis: animal activist Carole Baskin. 

If you think the plot is simple, think again, as the Netflix show throws absolutely everything at you. There’s a fake music career, a missing husband, prison time, and a very shirtless interview. Amongst all the madness, Exotic’s polygamous marriage may be the most normal thing about this entire debacle.

Nevertheless, Twitter has been abuzz since Tiger King’s debut, and even celebs have gotten in on the cultural phenomenon. “Has anyone seen Tiger King on Netflix?!?! It is crazy!!!!” tweeted Kim Kardashian, while Cardi B clearly took sides, writing, “They did Joe so dirty over and over again.”

Since the world won’t stop talking about the outrageous Joe Exotic, the next obvious step is to turn the documentary into a spin-off. Of course, like everything else that has to do with Tiger King, you should definitely expect the unexpected — especially when it comes to casting. Here’s the truth about the Tiger King spin-off series.

Is Brad Pitt available to play Joe Exotic?

While (spoiler alert) Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel currently is behind bars, the star of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is reportedly “absolutely ecstatic” about his newfound fame. As the series co-director and writer, Rebecca Chaiklin, told the Los Angeles Times, “You can hardly talk to him without him mentioning the amount of press he’s getting… He’s over the moon.”

So, in regards to a spin-off series, is there anyone in particular that Exotic wants cast as him? “He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him,” Chaiklin told The Hollywood Reporter, hilariously adding that “He doesn’t refer to David Spade as David Spade — he refers to him as ‘Joe Dirt.'” Although Pitt may be a stretch, there’s no denying that Spade’s eponymous role in Joe Dirt bears a striking resemblance to the incarcerated celeb.

According to CBS News, although nothing has been officially announced, it hasn’t stopped actors from expressing their desires to play the Tiger King himself. “If I don’t get cast as Joe Exotic in the eventual biopic, Hollywood is broken,” tweeted Dax Shepard. Edward Norton got in on the scuttlebutt and responded to Shepard’s post with, “Um, step aside, pal. You’re way too young and buff and you know it.” We’re confident that whoever ends up with the coveted role will definitely have big shoes to fill.

Kate McKinnon is on board as Carole Baskin

Kate McKinnon knows a good story when she hears it. According to Deadline, back in November 2019, the Saturday Night Live starlet was “set to headline and executive produce” a limited series based on this true saga. By March 2020, Deadline reported the project was “still in internal development at UCP and has not been set up at a network or a streaming platform.” That being said, considering the overwhelmingly positive feedback from critics regarding the true-crime docuseries, it’s hard to imagine finding “potential suitors” for the developing show will be a tough feat.

Along with holding the title of executive producer, it turns out McKinnon will also star as Joe Exotic’s archnemesis Carole Baskin, per Entertainment Weekly. News has even reached the Big Cat Rescue founder herself, causing the docuseries star to send a message to her on-screen doppelgänger. “Big Cat Rescue implores Kate McKinnon to not use real big cats and cubs in the making of her series,” Baskin said in a statement to EW. “It would be cruel to use real big cats in a television series about cruelty to big cats.”

Baskin isn’t the only one requesting that exotic pets be left out of this limited series. Speaking with TheWrap, animal rights organization PETA dished, “We haven’t been able to confirm their production plans, which is why we’re keeping the pressure on. Our hope is no real big cats or other animals will be used.”

There's still some uncertainty about casting

While Kate McKinnon is confirmed to play Carole Baskin, it looks like the rest of the casting decisions are still up in the air. As it turns out, McKinnon’s spin-off series will be based on the podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King — which came out before the Netflix hit. The podcast’s host, Robert Moor, spoke with Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show Radio Andy, where he revealed his own picks for who should play Joe “Exotic” Schreibvogel. 

“My preferred casting — and this is a bit off the wall — would be Margot Robbie,” Moore said, referring to Robbie’s role in I, Tonya as the “vibe.” Involved in the spin-off’s casting, he also mentioned another name being thrown around to play Exotic is Sam Rockwell.

As for any other roles? It looks like fellow animal park owner Bhagavan “Doc” Antle is also getting the A-list treatment. “I heard John C. Reilly should play Doc Antle. I like that one a lot,” revealed Moor.

While all of us are eagerly awaiting the rest of the show’s cast, we can at least be entertained by John Finlay’s optimism. Exotic’s ex told People that he wants Magic Mike star Channing Tatum to play him. As for his second pick? Shia LaBeouf. “He would probably be a good choice because with a beard he can look like me, and he can relate to me,” the Tiger King celeb mused. To be honest, we’ll take either.

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