Joe Exotic: William Fichtner Joins Cast of Peacock's Tiger King Series

Peacock's Joe Exotic TV series, dramatizing the events previously seen in Netflix's Tiger King, has added character actor William Fichtner to its cast. Deadline reports that The Dark Knight and Entourage star will take on the part of Rick Kirkham, the real-life documentarian that appeared in the Netflix series. In Tiger King, and reality, Kirkham was a director and executive producer on an early attempt to make a reality series centered around Joe Exotic and even coined the name "Tiger King." He takes over the part from Dennis Quaid who had previously signed on but has been forced to drop out due to a scheduling conflict.

Fichtner joins a cast that also includes Kate McKinnon in the role of Carole Baskin and Hedwig and the Angry Inch actor John Cameron Mitchell playing the part of Joe Exotic. Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy, and Aaron Hart will also executive produce. Justin Tipping (Flatbush Misdemeanors) will direct the show's first four episodes, which includes the pilot. Black Widow director Cate Shortland will direct episodes five through eight. The series description for the show reads:

"Joe Exotic (wt) centers on Carole Baskin (McKinnon), a big cat enthusiast, who learns that fellow exotic animal lover Joe "Exotic" Schreibvogel (Mitchell) is breeding and using his big cats for profit. She sets out to shut down his venture, inciting a quickly escalating rivalry. 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."

"Joe Exotic is shaping up to be a bold and provocative drama and perfectly suited for Peacock, where we can push the envelope and truly bring the story to life in a way that we would be unable to do on broadcast television," Chairman of Entertainment Content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming Susan Rovner told THR about the series. "Moving Joe Exotic to Peacock exclusively is just one example of the strengths of our new structure, which gives us the ability to let the art dictate the platform and not the other way around."

The new series isn't based on Netflix's version of the story but rather the Wondery Podcast series named for the bizarre zookeeper turned convicted felon (Wondery's podcast actually debuted two weeks prior to the Netflix series).


NBC and UCP's Joe Exotic is not the only dramatization of the Tiger King saga that's in the works as CBS Television Studios is developing a series with Nicolas Cage attached to play Exotic.