John Cameron Mitchell to play Tiger King in TV series

·1-min read

Hedwig and the Angry Inch star John Cameron Mitchell has been cast as Joe Exotic in a new series based on the hit podcast that helped make the Tiger King star famous.

Mitchell will play the larger-than-life zoo owner, born Joseph Schreibvogel, who is currently serving time behind bars for his part in a plot to kill his rival, Carole Baskin, who will be played by comedienne and actress Kate McKinnon.

"I’m thrilled to take on the role of this modern folk antihero," said Mitchell. "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."

Joe Exotic's life and his battle with big cat activist Baskin, documented in the Wondery podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King, was turned into a Netflix docu-series and became one of the biggest hits during the pandemic lockdown last year.

“It’s clear that an over-the-top character like Joe needed someone very special,” said Steven O’Neill, executive vice president of casting and talent development for series producer 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.”

Nicolas Cage has been cast as Joe Exotic in a separate project, which is in development at Amazon.