Tiger King Canceled: Amazon Scraps Nicolas Cage-Led Drama

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Nicolas Cage will not be playing Joe Exotic.

The beloved actor was set to lead an Amazon drama series based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild.”

But it sounds like the Tiger King craze is coming to a close with a thud.

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“I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it come together,” Cage said to Variety of the decision.

“They felt at one point that it was lightning in a bottle, but that point has since faded into the distance and it’s no longer relevant.”

Indeed, the world has changed substantially since Netflix's wildly successful docu-series hit the air in 2020.

As a result, it feels like a distant memory, and it seems Amazon was concerned about investing time and money into a project that might not be a hit.

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

The prospective series, simply titled Joe Exotic, was to center on Joe 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," according to the description.

American Vandal showrunner Dan Lagana is on board as writer and showrunner and executive produce with Paul Young of Make Good Content, Imagine's Brian Grazer and Samie Kim Falvey, Cage (via his Saturn Films), as well as Scott Brown and Megan Creydt of Texas Monthly.

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Peacock is also developing a series set in the world of Tiger King, based on a Wondery podcast.

The series will center around Baskin, Exotic, and the tigers they famously tussled over.

The insanity begins when Baskin learns that her sworn nemesis is breeding and using his menagerie for profit.

“She sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry,” per the official logline.

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“But Carole has a checkered past of her own and when the claws come out, Joe will stop at nothing to expose what he sees as her hypocrisy. The results prove dangerous.”

The cast is rounded out by Brian Van Holt as John Reinke, Nat Wolff as Travis Maldonado, Sam Keeley as John Finlay, Lex Mayson as Saff, Dean Winters as Jeff Lowe, Joel Marsh Garland as James Garretson, and William Fichtner as Rick Kirkham.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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