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Nicolas Cage Won’t Play Joe Exotic, Amazon’s Tiger King Project Is Dead

Bad news all you cool cats and kittens, as Nicolas Cage will no longer play Joe Exotic in a Tiger King dramatization for Amazon. While the actor is undoubtably perfect for the part, he has now revealed that he is no longer scheduled to play the role, which he implied has now been shelved by the studio, something which he blames on Tiger King now being old news.

“We should clear the record. 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.”

RELATED: Peacock’s Tiger King Series Adds Dean Winters as Jeff Lowe

This is sure to disappoint both fans of the actor and of the Tiger King story, with the idea of Cage mulleting-up as the real-life eccentric Joe Exotic seeming to be a match made in cinematic heaven. Sadly, it was not meant to be, and with the project now dead at Amazon sources have claimed that the project, produced by Imagine and CBS Studios, and inspired by the Netflix docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, may be shopped to other outlets.

Netflix’s hugely successful Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem delves into the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, focusing on Joe Exotic, a gun-toting polygamist and country-western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Charismatic but misguided, Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen, and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats, and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner. But things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe’s arrest for a murder-for-hire plot, and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner.

Aside from the now cancelled Nicolas Cage version of the project, Peacock are still moving ahead with their take, which is currently titled Joe Exotic. Starring SNL favorite Kate McKinnon, who will play Carole Baskin, and GLOW’s John Cameron Mitchell, who will play Joe Exotic, the series will focus specifically on Baskin as she “learns that her nemesis Joseph ‘Joe Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage 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.”

While he will no longer enter the crazy mixed-up world of the Tiger King, Cage does have several equally intriguing projects on the horizon, with the actor currently receiving rave reviews for his central performance in the upcoming thriller Pig. Cage stars as a truffle forager who will stop at nothing to find out who has stolen his beloved truffle-finding pig. Pig is scheduled to be released on July 16, 2021, by Neon. This comes to us from Variety.

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