It’s official, we won’t see Nicolas Cage play one of the only people potentially stranger than he is. The news of Cage’s first TV role as Joe Exotic in the Tiger King Amazon series first broke over a year ago. In an interview with Variety, Cage indicated that the project has been shelved indefinitely.
“We should clear the record,” Cage tells Variety. “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.”
If you don’t remember (we know it’s been a long year and a half) Joe Exotic, aka the Tiger King, became one of the first memes and binge-watches of quarantine following its release on Netflix in March 2020. The special presented Exotic as an interesting character to say the least (and as a criminal, to say the most), with his sketchy zoo of big cats and plots for murder. While Cage would have most likely given his all to the role as the mulleted Joe Exotic, some things are just not meant to be.
Don’t worry about Cage and his career of playing larger-than-life characters—he’s still got plenty on his plate. His newest surprise stunner, Pig, premiered earlier this week, in which Cage takes on the role of a hermetic chef who seeks revenge after someone steals his cherished truffle pig. And Cage’s next role may prove even more challenging, as the long-time actor will play “heightened” version of himself. In Tom Gormican’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent—which comes out next April—Cage will play a desperate actor (himself) who signs on for an appearance at a billionaire’s birthday party as part of a sting operation.
However, if you’re still absolutely itching for more of Joe Exotic’s story, Peacock is still moving forward with their Tiger King series, recently adding Kyle MacLachlan to the cast as Howard Baskin. Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon will play the big cat-loving Carole Baskin, John Cameron Mitchell signed onto the project as Exotic, Natt Wolff takes on the role of Travis Maldonado, and Lex Mayson will play Exotic’s staff member Saff.