In 2020, “Tiger King” captivated audiences on Netflix, so much so that it led the streaming platform to launch a sequel to the series on Nov. 17. The success of the series led other companies to grab a piece of the “Joe Exotic” pie, too.
They included Amazon Studios, which dropped their production, but NBC is moving ahead with theirs. The broadcaster has plans to launch their limited series on the former zoo owner, with John Cameron Mitchell playing the title role and SNL’s Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin on their streaming platform Peacock.
Baskin is the owner of Big Cat Rescue in Florida and was heavily critical of Joe Exotic, AKA Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage’s operation in Oklahoma. He was sentenced to prison for twice attempting to hire a hitman to kill her in 2020.
A release date for the show has yet to be announced.
‘I feel like a know a little bit’ about Joe Exotic
Mitchell, born in El Paso to a military family, told Variety in April why he was “thrilled” to take on the role.
“Joe and I are the same age and like him, I grew up queer in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, so I feel like I know a little bit about this guy and his desperate attempt to conquer an inhospitable world.”
While he hasn’t met the person he’s playing, he told Page Six that he “understand(s) him without in any way condoning” the man’s actions.
“When you grow up queer in that environment, you hate yourself because everybody hated you. And his way of dealing with it was to imitate his oppressor,” Mitchell said. “In some way, you do admire this kind of pathetic desire to outdo his oppressor.”
Broadway musicals like ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ and a ‘Tiger King’ song
Mitchell began acting on Broadway in the 1980s and wrote his musical in the late 1990s, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Most recently, he’s been staying busy acting in the Hulu show “Shrill,” hosting the podcast “Anthem” and releasing a collaborative album titled “New American Dream.”
The two-part album, which benefits organizations like a food distribution program in Mexico City, a justice project, and a scholarship fund, includes the song “Call Me Joe.”
It focuses on the complex relationship between Joe Exotic and his first husband, Travis Maldonado. The tune features Nat Wolff, who is set to play the role of Maldonado in the forthcoming show.
You can listen to it here:
“Joe Exotic” previously released a pair of albums, too. Maldonado-Passage didn’t write or the sing the songs, instead hiring the services of The Clinton Johnson Band to record and perform them. The music videos for tracks like “Here Kitty Kitty” give his perspective on Baskin, which remains popular with over 10 million views on Youtube.
See John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic, Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin
Filming for the series was done in Australia earlier this year. Photographers were able to capture a few images of what Mitchell and McKinnon both looked like in their respective roles.
Here’s a sampling:
No thoughts just John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic pic.twitter.com/jfo6PetNP7
— 28 Dais Later (@thegoodolddais) July 21, 2021
Kate McKinnon is still on SNL.
She’s currently filming the Tiger King show and is playing Carole Baskin.
She was pictured on set two days ago. pic.twitter.com/U96RtRGclL
— Eddy Bee 🏳️🌈 (@CrazyEddyBee) October 10, 2021
Mitchell also previously released a photo on his Instagram account of a true-to-form Maldonado-Passage mullet.
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Tiger King 2 is coming, but an El Paso-born actor is portraying ‘Joe Exotic’ in a future show, tooInternet Explorer Channel Network