In the hours after the news broke that Nicolas Cage would be playing Joe Exotic in a scripted television series based on Tiger King, many on social media have been expressing their disappointment that Danny McBride wasn’t cast instead. Given the popularity of the controversial Netflix star, it was inevitable that we’d be seeing someone portraying Joe in a scripted adaptation of the Tiger King story. It appears a lot of people had been keeping their fingers crossed for McBride to get the role, making it clear that casting anyone else was not the right decision.
“Bad casting decision. Should be Danny McBride,” one tweet bluntly reads, accompanied by an animated GIF of McBride in cowboy gear. “Danny McBride already has the damn costume!” another fan tweets, posting a photo of a mullet-headed McBride wearing a tiger tank top. Meanwhile, Twitter user Steven Benner is much more dramatic with his response to the news. “The absolute audacity to have Nicolas Cage be Joe Exotic instead of Danny McBride. I am triggered. I am offended. My feelings are absolutely hurt,” Benner writes. And these tweets are just a tip of the iceberg, which has led to McBride’s name trending online.
Produced by Imagination Television Studios and CBS Television Studios, the eight-episode miniseries is specifically based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild,” by Leif Reigstad. Dan Lagana is also reportedly on board as the writer and showrunner with Cage attached to star as the Tiger King himself. Both Lagana and Cage are executive producing as well. The series is said to explore how Joe Schreibvogel became to be better known as “Joe Exotic,” and “how he lost himself to a character of his own creation.”
The good news here is that McBride may still get his chance to play Joe Exotic in a separate scripted movie or television series. Reportedly, Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon is developing a Tiger King series of her own which will see her starring as Joe’s rival, Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin. As of now, the role of Joe Exotic still hasn’t been cast for that series, so there are still going to be more opportunities for other actors to play him. While Dax Shepard and other celebrities have volunteered for the part, the Tiger King himself has said he wants either Brad Pitt or “Joe Dirt” to play him.
As talented as Nicolas Cage and Danny McBride might be, any actor is going to have great challenges in trying to bring Joe Exotic to life on screen. After all, we’ve never seen a character quite like the guy we met through the popular Tiger King series on Netflix, and it’s going to be difficult for any portrayal to be quite as entertaining. Still, if it has to be done, Cage is certainly not the worst choice, even if he’s no Danhy McBride. From Twitter, you can take a look at some of the responses to Cage’s casting as Joe Exotic below.