Tiger King: Amazon Reportedly Scraps Nicolas Cage-Starring Series
Amazon's planned Tiger King series, which would have featured Nicolas Cage in the lead role, has reportedly been abandoned and will no longer go into production this year. That's according to Cage, while Variety reports that the project may be shopped to other outlets. Cage was set to star in the series as Joe Exotic, the eccentric big cat enthusiast who is currently in prison after he was convicted of trying to get one of his most vocal critics murdered. Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was at the center of Netflix's wildly popular documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which told the story of Exotic and an eccentric cast of characters in his orbit.
One such character -- and the victim of the failed murder-for-hire plot -- was Carole Baskin, whose husband disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Numerous participants in the documentary suggested that Baskin had killed him and fed him to his tigers, although it's telling that even after all the attention on the missing persons case that came out of the Tiger King phenomenon, there is no strong evidence to indicate that is true. Baskin will be played by Saturday Night Live standout Kate McKinnon in another dramatization of the story, this one for Peacock. Given the viral popularity of the Netflix series, numerous other studios and networks rushed to be the first to get a dramatization into production, taking advantage of the movie's "based-on-a-true-story" nature. According to Cage, it seems as though Amazon was the first to realize that the phenomenon can't go on forever.
"We should clear the record," Cage told the trade . "I read two excellent scripts, which I did think were excellent, but I think Amazon ultimately felt that it was material that had become past tense because it took so long for it come together. 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."
But don't cry for Cage. In the wake of the cult sensation Mandy, Cage seems to have evolved his career once again, taking on bold and bizarre roles in hyper-stylized movies like the recent Willy's Wonderland. His latest, the eccentric and well-reviewed Pig, is basically a movie in the John Wick or Taken vein, in which Cage's character goes on a roaring rampage of revenge after someone kills his pet pig.
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