The project, from CBS Studios and Imagine Television Studios, was set up at Amazon for development almost a year ago, at the height of the Tiger King popularity, which has since dissipated. It didn’t go past the script stage, and, at least for now, it appears unlikely that the show would be shopped elsewhere.
The news, which Cage confirmed to Variety, comes as Peacock has started production on their Joe Exotic limited series starring Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin and John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic.
The story in the Imagine/CBS Studios show, written by American Vandal showrunner Dan Lagana, centered around Joe Shreibvogel (Cage), an eccentric, exotic zookeeper in Oklahoma who fights to keep his park — even at the risk of losing his sanity. The series would have lived in the lion’s den with Joe, exploring how he became Joe Exotic and how he lost himself to a character of his own creation.
The project was based on the Texas Monthly article “Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild,” by Leif Reigstad which Lagana and Paul Young optioned through Lagana’s overall deal at CBS TV Studios in June of 2019.
Lagana, who was to serve as showrunner, executive produced with Brian Grazer and Samie Kim Falvey for Imagine, Young for Make Good Content, Cage for Saturn Films, as well as Scott Brown and Megan Creydt for Texas Monthly.