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‘Tiger King’ movie focused on Joe Exotic reportedly coming to Netflix

Published Apr 30th, 2020 9:41PM EDT
Tiger King
Image: Netflix
  • The Netflix docu-series Tiger King has been one of the most popular streaming releases so far this year, with Netflix itself estimating that some 64 million households watched the series during the first four weeks after its release.
  • Now, a new report teases that Netflix may have a movie adaptation of the series in the works, with a focus on the colorful character at its center — Joe Exotic.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Few things in Netflix’s vast catalog of TV shows and movies have proven as simultaneously bingeable, buzzy, and unequivocally insane as the Tiger King docu-series, about a polygamist zoo owner from Oklahoma who comes off like a character somebody dreamed up in a movie. The series is still among the Top 10 Netflix TV series in the US, according to the daily rankings put out by the streamer, which means people still haven’t been able to get enough of the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story herein — and, along those lines, Netflix might be about to give fans even more Tiger King-related content to enjoy.

After releasing an extra episode earlier this month, a kind of aftershow special hosted by Joel McHale, Netflix went on to tout some impressive stats related to the series in its first-quarter letter to shareholders, published on April 21. In it, Netflix projected that some 64 million households would have seen Tiger King in the first four weeks following its release in mid-March. Now, meanwhile, comes word that a movie adaptation of the series focused on the Tiger King himself — “Joe Exotic,” aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage — is reportedly in production at the streamer.

That’s according to the film industry data and news service Production Weekly, which in its April 29 issue lists Untitled Joe Exotic Project among a rundown of multiple upcoming productions.

The blog What’s On Netflix picks up the thread from there, reporting that this untitled project’s production schedule already reveals that director Ryan Murphy — who has a new Netflix series, Hollywood, debuting May 1 on the streamer — will write and produce this project, with actor Rob Lowe the only cast member mentioned thus far.

Earlier this month, Lowe posted a picture of himself dressed as Joe Exotic to Instagram and added an “UPDATE” to confirm that — “Ryan Murphy and I will be developing our version of this insane story. Stay tuned!” Of course, this will no doubt come as a disappointment to Mr. Exotic himself, who’s currently behind bars as a result of a murder-for-hire plot. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, he suggested that either Brad Pitt or “Joe Dirt” (a reference to the character portrayed by David Spade) should play him in a movie version of his life.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.